Barred candidate in court challenge

Local | Phoenix Un 9 May 2018

Agnes Chow Ting of Demosisto filed an election petition yesterday to challenge the returning officer's decision to ban her from running in the Legislative Council March by-election.

Chow insisted the purpose of the petition was not to rescue her own political career, but was filed to bring fairness back for Hongkongers.

She was disqualified in late January for her political affiliation and for Demosisto advocating self-determination, which Hong Kong Island returning officer, Anne Teng Yu-yan, believed was against the Basic Law and the one country, two systems principle.

Chow submitted the application in the Court of First Instance yesterday, naming both Teng and Au Nok-hin, the winner of the island by-election, as defendants.

The application argued that Teng only sent e-mails to ask Chow about the renunciation of her British citizenship, but never questioned whether Chow upheld the Basic Law or pledged allegiance to the SAR.

It also said if Teng had given Chow a reasonable opportunity, "there would have been no proper basis or materials on which the first respondent [Teng)]could have determined that the petitioner [Chow] did not fulfill any substantive requirement to support the Basic Law."

It said Chow's right to be elected had been "unreasonably restricted by reasons of her association or affiliation with a political organization" and "on the grounds of political or other opinion."

Speaking to the media, Chow said she believes political suppression will become increasingly frequent if she doesn't take a stand and bring fairness back for locals through legal means.

"It's not about my political career, but whether Hongkongers' most basic right to be elected is guaranteed," she said.

Au, who was Chow's substitute in the by-election, said he learned about the petition from the media.

He said he will make no further comments as legal proceedings have begun.

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