The government has condemned “malicious personal attacks,” “intimidating remarks” and threats made on the internet against a returning officer who banned a pro-independence candidate from running in the upcoming Legislative Council election.

Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the Hong Kong National Party, was banned from running in the New Territories West constituency last Saturday, as the returning officer decided he “cannot possibly uphold the Basic Law or fulfil his duties as a legislator.

A spokesperson for the government said all officials responsible for election affairs are handling election-related matters in strict accordance with the Basic Law and relevant legislation to ensure that elections are conducted in an open, fair and honest manner.

Alan Lo Ying-ki (left) and Chan Ho-tin (right). Photo: GovHK/Apple Daily.

“Such remarks and threatened action are unacceptable. The SAR Government strongly condemns such acts,” the spokesperson said. “The police are highly concerned about the matter and will take appropriate action in accordance with the law.”

After Chan was disqualified, an official photo of Alan Lo Ying-ki, the returning officer of the New Territories West constituency and Kwai Tsing District Officer, has been widely shared on social media. Lo’s details, such as his photo, work phone numbers, work address and past working experience, could be found on public government websites.

A search for Lo’s name on Facebook, the major social media site in Hong Kong, returned posts saying he should “go to hell.” Some users also urged others to dig up Lo’s personal information.

Chan Ho-tin addressing supporters at a rally after he was disqualified from the election. Photo: HKFP.

The spokesperson added that there will be a number of activities related to the election soon, including election forums and a briefing for candidates on Tuesday afternoon.

“The SAR government appeals to all those taking part in these activities to act in a peaceful, rational and law-abiding manner and to accord respect to others,” the spokesperson said.

“Activity organisers and law enforcement authorities will follow up and take resolute action should anyone disrupt order or take any unlawful action during these activities.”

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.