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|HKSARG responds to remarks by foreign organisation and politicians on 2018 Legislative Council By-election
In response to media enquiries, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government made the following response today (January 30) to the remarks by a foreign organisation and politicians on the 2018 Legislative Council By-election:
Article 26 of the Basic Law stipulates that "Permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall have the right to vote and the right to stand for election in accordance with law". The HKSAR Government all along respects and safeguards the rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents according to law, including the aforesaid rights to vote and to stand for election. At the same time, the HKSAR Government has a duty to implement and uphold the Basic Law and to ensure that all elections will be conducted in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant electoral laws.
A declaration to the effect that the person will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR are prescribed under the Legislative Council Ordinance as requirements to be complied with by persons nominated as candidates. "Self-determination" or changing the HKSAR system by referendum which includes the choice of independence is inconsistent with the constitutional and legal status of the HKSAR as stipulated in the Basic Law, as well as the established basic policies of the People's Republic of China regarding Hong Kong. Upholding the Basic Law is a basic legal duty of a legislator. If a person advocates or promotes self-determination or independence by any means, he or she cannot possibly uphold the Basic Law or fulfil his or her duties as a legislator, and cannot possibly comply with the requirement of the Legislative Council Ordinance that requires a candidate to make a declaration to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR. The Returning Officer, having considered the facts and requirements of relevant electoral laws, decided that the nomination of a candidate in the 2018 Legislation Council By-election was invalid as she did not comply with the Legislative Council Ordinance.
Decisions made by the Returning Officers are aimed to ensure that the Legislative Council by-election is held in strict accordance with the Basic Law and other applicable laws in an open, honest and fair manner. There is no question of any political censorship, restriction of the freedom of speech or deprivation of the right to stand for elections as alleged by some members of the community.
Since the return to the motherland, the HKSAR has been exercising a high degree of autonomy and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" in strict accordance with the Basic Law. This demonstrates the full and successful implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, which has been widely recognised by the international community.
Foreign organisations and politicians should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR.
Ends/Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Issued at HKT 18:05