Pro-Beijing Legislative Council candidate Judy Chan has reported election rival Au Nok-hin to the Independent Commission Against Corruption after Au altered Chan’s election slogan in a social media post.

Au and Chan are among four candidates competing for the Hong Kong Island constituency seat in Sunday’s Legislative Council by-elections. The elections will fill four seats previously vacated over the 2016 oath-taking row. Au is the pro-democracy camp’s chosen candidate whilst Chan is representing the New People’s Party.

Au Nok-hin. Photo: In-Media.

Her office said in a statement on Friday evening that they believe Au had breached the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance.

Au had changed Chan’s election slogan from “Safeguard the Rule of Law, Bring Reason Back to Politics” to “Safeguard the Rule of Man, Return to the [Communist] Party line” and uploaded the graphic to Facebook earlier on Friday.

Photo: 區諾軒 Au Nok-hin screenshot via Facebook.

“The Judy Chan election office emphasises that the rule of law is Hong Kong people’s core value, and we hope that this Legislative Council by-election will take place smoothly under legal circumstances,” the statement said.

The office also said that Chan’s lawyers will issue a letter to Au. Au told reporters on Saturday that his lawyers will study the matter.

Judy Chan. Photo: In-Media.

‘Deadly sins’

Meanwhile, Chan’s election advertisement email on Friday detailed “The Seven Deadly Sins of Au Nok-hin,” which included allegedly supporting Hong Kong Independence and advocating for “class struggle” by founding Left 21 – a progressive activist group in Hong Kong.

It also accused Au of holding “the Basic Law in contempt” by setting a mock-up of the document alight; for being “hypocritical” in applying to be a political assistant to a bureau director in 2012 despite protesting the government; and discriminating against new immigrants.

“For the future of Hong Kong, for the well-being of our future generation, please vote for me, #4 JudyChan, bring the voice of reason into LegCo and let me serve the people of HK,” the election email said.

Au said that there was content in the email that was factually incorrect, and he does not believe that candidates should resort to smears: “I believe voters can see for themselves our team and the opposition’s team attitudes in this incident,” he said.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.