Pro-independence candidate Nakade Hitsujiko was barred from running in the upcoming Legislative Council election as the returning officer said he believed the Hong Kong city-state advocate “does not uphold and does not intend to uphold the Basic Law.”

Nakade, an IT specialist who changed his name from Chung Ming-lun last year, was nominated to run in the New Territories West constituency. He has signed the declaration on the nomination form and the controversial new confirmation form that he will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR.

But he still received a query from the returning officer as to whether he will continue to support Hong Kong independence. Nakade replied that the “Hong Kong” he advocated independence for did not mean the “Hong Kong SAR” but the rough physical area that was often called Hong Kong.

Nakade Hitsujiko
Nakade Hitsujiko. Photo: Facebook.

“The independence I proposed… is a full-sovereignty independent country formed from the land generally called ‘Hong Kong’ or reformed from the existing political body,” he wrote.

“Or depending on feasibility and practical situation, I would switch to advocating for ‘forming – or reforming from the existing political body – a political body of a pseudo-sovereign country’, meaning ‘pseudo-independence’.”

Nakade also mentioned in the reply that one of the options for the “pseudo-independence” of “Hong Kong” was to legally move the “Hong Kong SAR” to the moon by an order issued by China – after China claimed sovereignty over the moon – so that the physical area “Hong Kong” could form a new entity not bound by the Basic Law.

‘Breach of power’

But the returning officer of the New Territories West constituency Alan Lo Ying-ki rejected his idea, stating that the “Hong Kong” Nakade mentioned “clearly means or includes the Hong Kong SAR.”

“Thus, I believe Mr Nakade Hitsujiko in fact advocates and promotes the independence of Hong Kong SAR and the formation of a full sovereign country from the Hong Kong SAR,” Lo wrote.

Lo wrote that Nakade did not make a declaration in accordance with section 40(1)(b)(i) of the Legislative Council Ordinance, and thus his nomination was invalid.

The section 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.

Nakade said on social media that the decision was a “breach of power” of the returning officer.

He added that he will bring the incident to the attention of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and the US Congress. One of his policies was to form civil diplomacy ties with other countries.

He also said he will look into the cases of other candidates who were banned from running and contact them to seek common ground for cooperation.

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

Nakade was the third candidate to be disqualified after Chan Ho-tin of the Hong Kong National Party and Yeung Ke-cheong of the Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the candidacies of five hopefuls from an alliance formed by Civic Passion, Proletariat Political Institute and the Hong Kong Resurgence Order, who advocate a pseudo-referendum to amend the Basic Law, were confirmed Monday night.

The candidacy of Edward Leung Tin-kei of Hong Kong Indigenous has yet to be confirmed. He has distanced himself from pro-independence statements.

A briefing for confirmed candidates hosted by the Electoral Affairs Commission is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

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.