Localist pulls election-ban petition

Local | Daphne Li 24 May 2019

Former localist leader Edward Leung Tin-kei has withdrawn a legal petition against his disqualification from the 2016 Legislative Council election.

Leung was disqualified from the New Territories East geographical constituency election, despite signing a "confirmation letter" to pledge his allegiance to Hong Kong and acknowledge the city as an inalienable part of China, as required by the Electoral Affairs Commission.

At a hearing yesterday, Leung's lawyer withdrew the petition and said there was only a slim chance that Leung could win the appeal, given that Chan Ho-tin, who raised a similar election petition in the High Court, lost in 2018.

In Chan's case, the court confirmed the power of a returning officer to disqualify a candidate.

The lawyer added that even if Leung carried on with the petition, the next Legco election will have been held when the court ruling is handed down.

Leung was to challenge the commission's legal right to decide and question whether he was genuine in signing the declaration form in his petition to the court in 2016.

He added in his petition that the returning officer's decision ran against his right to stand for election, as protected by the Basic Law and Bill of Rights Ordinance.

Five other candidates were also barred from running in the 2016 Legco election, including Chan Ho-tin, the convener of the now-banned Hong Kong National Party.

The returning officer of the constituency rejected Leung's candidacy, saying she did not accept that Leung had changed his advocacy of Hong Kong independence.

The 27-year-old Leung was charged with rioting in the Mong Kok unrest in 2016. He was convicted and is now serving a six-year jail term.

daphne.li@singtaonewscorp.com

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