A localist candidate has been disqualified from running in the Legislative Council election in September after he declared that he would not uphold the Basic Law.
Yeung Ke-cheong of the Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong did not sign a declaration on the nomination form pledging to uphold the mini-constitution. He instead submitted a separate statement saying that the Basic Law no longer applied to Hong Kong’s current situation, and that he could not sincerely uphold it. He said he expected to be disqualified for this statement.
The returning officer of the Kowloon West constituency noted the statement in a letter notifying Yeung of the decision. The officer also included a news clipping about the political position of Yeung’s party, which cited the party’s views that Hong Kong must determine its own future as it was ruled by a Chinese “foreign regime” and must obtain an equal political standing with China.
Yeung did not sign the new confirmation form pledging to three Basic Law articles on China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, a point also mentioned in the letter.
The officer said that, after considering all factors mentioned in the letter, Yeung was disqualified as he did not pledge to uphold the Basic Law according to legal requirements and his nomination form was incomplete.
The section 40(1)(b)(i) of the Legislative Council Ordinance states that the nomination form for candidates includes a declaration that they will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
But Yeung said there was no legal basis for the returning officer to review his political stance as one of the considerations in banning his run.
“All political figures proposing self-determination or even Hong Kong independence could be banned from all elections in Hong Kong after this,” he said in a statement.
Yeung was positioned second on a candidate list with Jonathan Ho Chi-kwong of the Hong Kong Localism Power – another localist group – in the Kowloon West constituency.
Ho’s nomination was validated. Ho signed the statement on upholding the Basic Law on the nomination form, but did not sign the new confirmation form.
Yeung said that localist parties should protest at the Electoral Affairs Commission’s briefing for validated candidates on Tuesday. He will appear there as Ho’s election manager.
He also said he will seek a judicial review of the power of returning officers.
Yeung was the second candidate to be disqualified, after Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the Hong Kong National Party, was banned from the election on the grounds that the independence advocate “cannot possibly uphold the Basic Law or fulfil his duties as a legislator.”
Before the disqualification, Chan received an email from the returning officer asking about his stance on Hong Kong independence.
Other localist candidates who received similar emails included Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung Tin-kei, Nakade Hitsujiko and Civic Passion’s Alvin Cheng Kam-mun. They were nominated to run in the New Territories East, New Territories West and Hong Kong Island constituencies respectively.
The candidacies of all three of them have yet to be validated as of Monday morning.