12 HK pro-democracy figures disqualified from running in Legco election

A total of 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy election hopefuls, including young activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung and other well-known names, on Thursday (30/7) were disqualified from running in the 2020 Legislative Council election.

The disqualified figures include four incumbent lawmakers – Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, his colleagues Dennis Kwok Wing-hang and Dr. Kwok Ka-ki of Civic Party, as well as accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong.

Other figures banned from running in the Legco race are Wong, secretary general of now-disbanded Demosistō, political activist Ventus Lau Wing-hong, former journalist Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam, Civic Passion’s Alvin Cheng Kam-mun, while district councillors Cheng Tat-hung, Lester Shum Ngo-fai, Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai and Fergus Leung Fong-wai are also barred from the Legco poll.

The 12 election hopefuls were all informed by returning officers that their nominations as a candidate in the Legco election had been invalidated.

The government issued a press release shortly after news of the disqualification spread. The government said it “agrees with and supports” returning officers’ decisions to invalidate 12 nominees for the 2020 Legco election.

The press release cited returning officers as saying that, “making reference to the HKSAR Court of First Instance's judgment on the Chan Ho Tin case, an intention to uphold the BL in the context of the section 40(1)(b)(i) declaration denotes not just compliance with it, but also an intention to support, promote, and embrace it (paragraphs 132(1) and 142 of the judgment).”

“[The government] reiterates that upholding the [Basic Law] is a fundamental constitutional duty of every LegCo Member. People having the following behaviours could not genuinely uphold the BL and could not therefore perform the duties of a LegCo Member, i.e. advocating or promoting Hong Kong independence, self-determination or changing the system of the HKSAR by supporting Hong Kong independence as an option for self-determination; soliciting intervention by foreign governments or political authorities in relation to the HKSAR's affairs; expressing an objection in principle to the enactment of the National Security Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and its subsequent promulgation as a national law listed in Annex III to the BL; expressing an intention to exercise the functions of a LegCo Member by indiscriminately voting down any legislative proposals, appointments, funding applications and budgets introduced by the HKSAR Government after securing a majority in the LegCo so as to force the Government to accede to certain political demands; and refusal to recognise the [People's Republic of China]'s exercise of sovereignty over the HKSAR and the HKSAR's constitutional status as a local administrative region of the PRC,” the press release said.

Wong confirmed his disqualification in a post on his Facebook page. “I was just disqualified from running in the upcoming LegCo election in Hong Kong, even though I got the highest vote share in the primary, with 31,398 votes obtained,” Wong wrote.

“The excuse they use is that I describe national security law as a draconian law, which shows that I do not support this sweeping law,” the pro-democracy activist said.

He said that Beijing now staged the biggest-ever [crackdown] on the city’s election, by disqualifying nearly all pro-democracy runners, from young progressive groups to traditional moderate parties.

“However, in order to safeguard the city’s future, HKers will not surrender. Our resistance will continue on and we hope the world can stand with us in the upcoming uphill battle,” Wong said.

Gwyneth Ho, the Stand News former reporter, is among those banned from running. Ho revealed the returning officer pointed out in a letter that she did not have a “genuine and true intention” to uphold the Basic Law. “it is “an obvious sham for the candidate to say she does not object the HKSAR’s constitutional obligation to safeguard national security” under the “one country, two systems” principle in accordance with the Basic Law,” the returning officer wrote in the letter.

Civic Party leader Yeung said he believes other Civic Party nominees would be likely to be banned from running in the Legco poll in a short time. He said Civic Party election hopefuls would feel honoured if they were disqualified from running because of their striving for ideals such as human rights, democracy and freedom.

Alan Leong kah-kit, chairman of the Civic Party and former lawmaker, called such a disqualification move by the administration a big insult and harm to Hongkongers’ right to vote and right to stand for election that are protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

According to Leong, since what the HKSAR government and the central government did this time was so blatant, Hong Kong people believes the “one country, two systems” principle already does not exist.

The nomination period for the upcoming Legco race will run until Friday (31/7). A number of other pan-democratic figures earlier received questions raised by returning officers and their Legco nominations have not been confirmed to be validated.

【瘋狂 DQ】楊岳橋、郭榮鏗、郭家麒、黃之鋒、何桂藍等 12 人被禁選立會 政府:反對國安法不會真誠擁護基本法 / 立場報道

【瘋狂 DQ】公民黨最少 4 人禁參選 楊岳橋:料其他黨友將同被 DQ 選舉主任信件成歷史笑話 / 立場報道

Joshua Wong Chi-fung's Facebook page, Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam's Facebook page