The governing council of the University of Hong Kong Student Union has ruled that it will not accept the nomination forms for four students to run for office, as their information was submitted incorrectly and late. The team did not directly answer questions about connections the applicants allegedly have with Beijing officials in Hong Kong.

Hua Sulin, one of the team of four applicants, said that they submitted their form to stand in the union elections before the deadline. It was accepted by a staff member at the student union office. However, when the process was complete, it was already ten minutes past the deadline. They also did not write down the positions they were running for in block letters as required.

After they were disqualified, they filed a complaint with the student union council. But Michael Fung, chair of the annual election commission, said at a council meeting: “There were no political considerations.”

Hua Sulin (left) Huang Zhiyi Daniel (right).

Former student union chief Althea Suen said any error on the form would make it invalid. She said students should have enough time to fix the mistakes before submission and bear the risks of submitting in the final moments before the deadline.

The four students refused to attend the council meeting on Tuesday night, but Hua and another member – Huang Zhiyi Daniel – held a press conference in the afternoon. The pair responded to three questions during the 25-minute press conference and refused to answer more questions owing to “time constraints.”

Chinese connections

When asked if they have connections to the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Hua said: “I don’t know where this information of connections with the Liaison Office came from.” She said that they were running for students’ welfare.

University of Hong Kong. Photo: Stand News.

Hua also criticised HKU Campus TV and Undergrad student magazine for releasing her team’s names without authorisation. Huang said Undergrad was “fake news,” claiming it falsely reported that no candidates had applied to run in the cabinet elections.

Hua was asked why she hosted the press conference if she was afraid of her information being released. She refused to answer citing time constraints.

The president of Campus TV and the chief editor of Undergrad both said their information could be obtained from public information released by the council and the election commission. The outlets did not release their student numbers, emails or phone numbers, they said.

Both Hua and Huang studied at the pro-Beijing Heung To Middle School. Hua joined the Military Summer Camp For Hong Kong Youth in 2014 which was co-organised by the Education Bureau and the People’s Liberation Army Garrison in Hong Kong.

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.