Candidate challenges 'political censorship' over China allegiance pledge

Monday, July 25, 2016

Independence advocate Edward Leung and League of Social Democrats' Avery Ng have separately launched legal challenges against the new Legislative Council election form that asks candidates to declare their acceptance of Hong Kong as an inseparable part of China. 

Leung of Hong Kong Indigenous, who has applied to contest in the New Territories East Geographical Constituency, has not signed the controversial document, and so far has not been confirmed as an eligible candidate.

But the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) sent him an email, asking him to clarify whether he had "continued to advocate and push for Hong Kong's independence.''

Leung said the EAC has no right to bar him from contesting. 

"As the government and the EAC are trying to use laws to exercise all the power they have to limit the legitimacy of a candidate and to have a political censorship on me, so I think the best way is to use law as well to respond. So I think judicial review is the best choice I could have right now,'' he told RTHK's Janice Wong. 

Avery Ng has not signed up as a candidate for the election yet. He said the form was the first step of corrupting the electoral system in Hong Kong. 

"Even though the League of Social Democrats does not advocate Hong Kong Independence, it does not mean that we do not face the risk of being banned from the election. In fact, our cause is even grander than Hong Kong Independence. 

"We advocate for the downfall of the Communist Party in China. If today they can decide to ban Edward Leung for simply voicing out his view on Hong Kong Independence without doing any actual practical work, then in time, we may be banned from running for election,'' he said.

Others who have tendered their nomination papers to contest in the New Territories East Geographical Constituency are the Democratic Party's Lam Cheuk-ting, the New People's Party's Yung Hoi-yan, the Liberal Party's Dominic Lee, Elizabeth Quat and Gary Chan from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Fernando Cheung from the Labour Party, the Neo Democrats' Gary Fan, the Federation of Trade Union's Bill Tang, the Civic Party's Alvin Yeung, rural leader Hau Chi-keung and District Councilor Christine Fong.