Pro-democracy party Demosistō’s chairman Nathan Law said that he may consider judicial review over delays in the review of his election mailouts, saying that the electoral office could be obstructing the election process.

Approval of the party’s first version of election pamphlets has been delayed as the electoral office said that it would need to seek legal advice. A new version of the pamphlet with sensitive terms replaced by symbols such as stars and planets has already been approved by the Registrations and Electoral Office.

“On August 1, we received notice that ‘self autonomy,’ ‘self-determination,’ ‘self-reliance’ were all words that cannot be published,” said Joshua Wong on an RTHK radio show.

Demosistō’s mailout, which replaced “sensitive words” with symbols like stars and planets. Photo: Demosistō.

The new version is dotted with planets and stars and contains the words “warning- this election mail has been politically censored.” It suggests that readers go to its website to see the uncensored version.

Differing standards?

Tanya Chan on August 4, 2016. Photo: SocREC.

However, pamphlets from the Civic Party’s Tanya Chan, which include the words “self-determining the future” and “self-determining the way forward,” were approved by the office. Chan said to local media: “signing the declaration form does not necessarily mean that you can run, not signing the declaration form doesn’t mean that you can’t run, having the words ‘self-determination’ doesn’t mean that it will get rejected, is it rule by law now or rule by people?”

Alan Leong, the Civic Party leader, said on Thursday that neither the electoral office nor the post office have the right to censor political intentions.

The Civic Party said previously that they would not be submitting to political censorship and that they “would not be changing words such as ‘pushing forward a referendum law’ or ‘Hongkongers self-determining their future the second time around.’”

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.