The Hong Kong government will allow pro-democracy candidate Edward Yiu to run in the March legislative by-elections. Fellow election hopeful Agnes Chow was barred from entering the race on Saturday.

Yiu was elected a lawmaker through the architectural sector constituency in 2016, but was disqualified in July last year over his legislative swearing-in session. He added phrases such as “for democracy and for Hong Kong’s sustainable development” to his oath.

Edward Yiu. Photo: Edward Yiu, via Facebook.

He submitted his nomination forms on January 20 to run in the Kowloon West constituency and was notified on Monday by election officers that his nomination would be accepted. The approval came despite rumours in the pro-Beijing press last week that he would be barred. However, Monday morning, pro-establishment daily Sing Tao reported that Yiu would be allowed to run.

The government sent a list of queries to Yiu regarding his allegiance to the Basic Law on Friday, claiming that his answers would be a factor in whether he will be allowed to run.  The former surveying professor said that Kowloon West electoral officer Franco Kwok sent him the list of four questions.

Kwok asked whether Yiu sincerely upheld the Basic Law and whether he accepted Beijing’s interpretation of the provision on oath-taking which led to his ousting from the legislature last July. Yiu was then asked what he meant when he referred in an election debate to “more autonomy” for Hongkongers to decide their fate, and was also challenged over whether he agreed with an independence-leaning Taiwanese political party he had contact with.

Two weeks ago, Yiu won the pro-democracy camp’s primary for the Kowloon West seat.

Tom Grundy

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.