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SARG responds to application for judicial review relating to Legislative Council Hong Kong Island Geographical Constituency By-election

     In response to media enquiries on news reports that some members of the public have indicated the intention to apply for judicial review to challenge the decision of the Returning Officer (RO) that Au Lok-hin's nomination as a candidate in the LegCo Hong Kong Island Geographical Constituency was valid, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government said today (March 12) that as legal proceedings will soon commence, the Government will not comment on the case. 
     The spokesman said, "In fact, resolution of disputes arising from elections through judicial proceedings , including election petitions, is a common occurrence and an integral part of the electoral system in Hong Kong."
     "According to 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 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR)."
     "The HKSAR Government all along respects and safeguards the rights enjoyed by Hong Kong residents according to law, including the rights to vote and to stand for election. At the same time, to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR are 'requirements to be complied with by persons nominated as candidates' under the Legislative Council Ordinance.  'Independence of the HKSAR', '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 'independence of the HKSAR' or 'self-determination', 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 HKSAR Government will continue to strictly implement and uphold the Basic Law and ensure that all elections are conducted in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant electoral laws."

Ends/Monday, March 12, 2018
Issued at HKT 20:01