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Statement by HKSAR Government

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government today (February 13) issued the following statement in respect of a Court of First Instance ruling concerning an election petition (HCAL 162/2016) lodged against the results of the 2016 Legislative Council (LegCo) General 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.

     In accordance with section 40(1)(b)(i) of the Legislative Council Ordinance, a person is not validly nominated as a candidate for an election for a constituency unless the nomination form includes or is accompanied by a declaration to the effect that the person will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR.

     The Government welcomes the Court of First Instance's decision, which, among others, confirms that the returning officers (ROs), in accordance with the Legislative Council Ordinance, have the power to determine whether the declaration made by a person seeking candidature in the nomination form that he/she will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR is genuine, in order to decide whether the relevant nomination is valid.

     Advocating "independence of the HKSAR" 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.

     The HKSAR Government supports ROs to continue to determine whether a candidate's nomination is valid in accordance with the law and all relevant information, so that elections will be conducted in compliance with the Basic Law and other applicable laws in an open, honest and fair manner.

Ends/Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:40