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HKSAR Government responds to report by foreign organisation on 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 (March 9) to a report issued by a foreign organisation 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. This demonstrates the full and successful implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle, which has been widely recognised by the international community.

     It is an important part of the constitutional and legal systems of the HKSAR for the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) to exercise its power conferred by the Constitution and the Basic Law to interpret provisions of the Basic Law. The NPCSC Interpretation in 2016 clearly explains the meaning of Article 104 of the Basic Law and the consequences of contravening the provision. The Interpretation also explains clearly the requirements for oath-taking by specified public officers.  

     Article 26 of the Basic Law stipulates that permanent residents of the HKSAR 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.  

     Advocating "independence of the HKSAR" or "democratic self-determination", or implementing a referendum and proposing "independence of the HKSAR" as an option in the referendum for issues relating to Hong Kong's political system, 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.  

     Decisions of the Returning Officers are made in accordance with the law and are aimed to ensure that elections are held in accordance with the Basic Law and other applicable laws in an open, honest and fair manner. There is no question of "political screening" as alleged by the report.  

     The 2018 Legislative Council by-election will be held on March 11. Foreign organisations should not make groundless comments a few days before the by-election and should not interfere in any form in the internal affairs of the HKSAR.

Ends/Friday, March 9, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:53