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Thursday, August 4, 2016, 17:50

LegCo president backs veto on pro-independence candidates


HONG KONG — Outgoing President of the Legislative Council Jasper Tsang Yok-sing on Thursday threw his support behind returning officers’ decision to reject six candidates advocating “Hong Kong independence” from the Sept 4 legislature election.

"I believe the returning officers involved are entirely politically neutral. They act according to the rules and to the law. And if the law forbids any run advocating independence by the coming candidates, it is the duty of public servants (returning officers) to implement the legal requirement,” Tsang said.

He said the legality of the rejection of nominations is not about any political views put forward by candidates; rather it is about a “very serious issue” of advocating separatism, which is entirely inconsistent with the Basic Law and should not be allowed in the election at all.

Tsang hoped that those advocating “Hong Kong independence” understand that such a stance is intolerable under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework.

It will harm the framework if “Hong Kong independence” continues to be an issue, Tsang said.

Radical supporters of the rejected candidates on Tuesday night stormed a briefing session of the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC), forcing the session to be cut short.

New Territories West candidate Junius Ho Kwan-yiu on Thursday lodged a complaint with the EAC over the radical behavior of protestors, saying their conduct undermined valid candidates’ right to access information about the election.

Ho said protesters swore at him when leaving the venue and he became trapped in an elevator when he tried to leave.

Nine seats will be elected in New Territories West. Also contesting in the constituency are another 19 candidates. They are Chan Han-pan from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Wong Chun-kit from Youngspiration, Fung Kin-kee from the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, Chow Wing-kan from the Liberal Party, Tien Puk-sun from the New People’s Party, Leung Che-cheung from the New Territories Association of Societies, Wong Yun-tat from the Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service Centre, Chu Hoi-dick, the Civic Party’s Kwok Ka-ki, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions’ Mak Mei-kuen, the Democratic Party’s Wan Siu-kin, the League of Social Democrats’ Wong Ho-ming, the Labour Party’s Lee Cheuk-yan, Tong Wing-chi, Cheung Wai-ching, Ko Chi-fai from Politihk Social Strategic, Cheng Chung-tai from Civic Passion, Kwong Koon-wan, and Lui Chi-hang from the Christians to the World.

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