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Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 11:52

Yuen upholds rejection of LegCo candidates


HONG KONG - Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, on Tuesday, upheld the authority of returning officers, who have rejected nomination papers of six would-be candidates for the Sept 4 LegCo election over the past week.

The secretary’s statement came after protesters called on by localist Edward Leung Tin-kei, one of the six rejected, disrupted a brief session of the Electoral Affairs Commission on Tuesday night. The session was cut short after police had to be called to restore order.

Candidates are required by the Commission to sign acknowledgement that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China, apart from a standard declaration form.

Thus, returning officers have the duty and right to consider whether previous statements by candidate contradicted that pledge, Yuen said.

Yuen stressed that the Basic Law stipulates that anyone advocating Hong Kong independence is not in compliance with the law in the first place, and therefore is incapable of fulfilling the pledge to uphold the law, required of all elected lawmakers when they are sworn in.

Leung’s candidacy was rejected as spelled out in a 12-page statement, in which a returning officer stated Leung’s previous remarks favoring Hong Kong independence,  were in contradiction to the form he signed acknowledging Hong Kong as a part of China after a sudden U-turn. Returning officer Cora Ho Lai-sheung said Leung had made it clear that he would continue to advocate for Hong Kong independence if he were elected as a lawmaker.

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