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HKSARG responds to UK's FCO on 2018 Legislative Council By-election

     A spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government made the following response today (February 1) to the statement by the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the 2018 Legislative Council By-election:

     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. The HKSAR Government all along respects and safeguards the rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents in accordance with law, including the rights to vote and to stand for 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 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.

     The Returning Officer, having considered the facts and requirements of relevant electoral laws, decided that a candidate did not comply with the Legislative Council Ordinance and her nomination for the 2018 Legislation Council By-election was invalid.

     Decisions made by the Returning Officers will ensure that the 2018 Legislative Council By-election is held in strict accordance with the Basic Law, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other applicable laws in an open, honest and fair manner. There is no question of restriction of the freedom of speech or deprivation of the right to stand for election as alleged by some members of the community.

Ends/Thursday, February 1, 2018
Issued at HKT 16:00