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Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 14:31

Disqualification justified

By Staff Writer

The nominations of two pro-independence activists — Andy Chan Ho-tin and Yeung Ke-cheong — for the Legislative Council (LegCo) election were declared invalid by returning officers over the weekend. And the disqualification of Nakade Hitsujiko, as reported on Monday, marked the third invalid nomination. The moves, as expected, triggered a ferocious backlash from supporters of the separatist cause. Some of the responses were very nasty — personal information of the returning officers who made the decisions was dug up and posted on the Web, where they received personal attacks and even death threats.

It was most outrageous for the pro-independence activists to target these innocent civil servants as they were only discharging their duties. According to the regulations of the Electoral Affairs Commission, returning officers are “to decide whether candidates are validly nominated”, and they are empowered by the LegCo Ordinance to decide whether the nominations in question are valid.

As a matter of fact, these pro-independence activists are responsible themselves for their failure. Neither Chan nor Yeung signed the declaration on the nomination form pledging to uphold the Basic Law. Yeung even submitted a separate statement saying that he can not sincerely embrace the constitutional document as it no longer applies to Hong Kong under the current circumstances. As upholding the Basic Law is the prerequisite for all legislators, their disqualification is absolutely natural and legal.

Technicalities aside, allowing these Basic Law opponents to become lawmakers would be a joke. The legislature is a place to make laws for the SAR that must be in line with the Basic Law. How can we entrust the vital job of lawmaking upon people who openly proclaim not to support the constitutional document?

More importantly, their entry to LegCo would be a disaster for Hong Kong, because the SAR’s future lies on opportunities brought by the nation’s development. “Hong Kong independence” is nothing but an impasse. Anybody trying to lure Hong Kong in that direction is pushing the city into an abyss. Hence if these independence advocates are allowed to enter LegCo, where they can easily hinder the government’s work and the SAR’s development, we would be handing them the necessary tools to dig a grave for Hong Kong. Their disqualification, therefore, is crucial and necessary from whatever angle we look at it.

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