The three localists who receive EAC’s e-mails asking their stance on Hong Kong independence reply differently to the same question. As the court rejects the urgent judicial review (JR) application, all eyes now turn to the following response of EAC.
[Updated: The High Court on 27 July rejected the urgent JR ruling application, which means the cases will not be heard before the end of the Legco election nomination period on 29 July.]
(Photo credit: ‘Siu Wan’ 蕭雲)
[Updated] The court on Wednesday rejected the urgent JR ruling applied by each Edward Leung Tin-kei (梁天琦) of Hong Kong Indigenous (HKI) , Avery Ng Man-yuen (吳文遠) and Derek Chan Tak-cheung (陳德章) of the League of Social Democrats (LSD), but allowed the JR cases being heard in mid-August, meaning the localist candidates have used up all legal actions to challenge the legality of pledge form issued by Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) before the end of nomination period of Legco election on Friday.
Just days away from the nomination deadline for September Legco election, localist candidates of Proletariat Political Institute (PPI)-Civic Passion-Hong Kong Resurgence Order (HKRO) electoral alliance, Hong Kong Indigenous (HKI) and Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) respond to Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC)’s email enquiries regarding their allegiance.
Extend Basic Law, no answer, delay until the JR
Cheng Kam-mun (鄭錦滿) of PPI, who is running for one of the Hong Kong Island seats, was the first among the localist candidates to declare his allegiance to the Basic Law by signing the confirmation form. Yet, the EAC further demanded whether he will continue making pro-independence speeches during the campaigning period. Cheng claimed that he and his allies in the PPI-Civic Passion-HKRO alliance ardently supports the Basic Law forever.
In response to questions on whether he supports Hong Kong independence, Cheng explained that his primary concern is ‘constitutional reform’ (全民制憲), but not ‘the Hong Kong independence or Hong Kong nation-building as defined by the correspondent election officer’. He says the alliance is inspired by Horace Chin Wan-kan’s (陳雲根, aka. Chin Wan) Hong Kong as a City-State.
Andy Chan Ho-tin (陳浩天) of Hong Kong National Party (HKNP), who is running in New Territories West (NTW), refused to reply EAC’s e-mail enquiry on his stance regarding Hong Kong independence, reasoning that the election officer has no legal rights to request for information on a candidate’s political stance. He further asserted that such enquiry is ‘irrelevant to the validity of my nomination’. He argued that neither the Basic Law nor the LCO [Legislative Council Ordinance] bars persons who holds a particular political view from candidacy.
Edward Leung of HKI requested for an extension of the deadline until 11am on 28 July.
Ask for e-mail
Yau Wai-ching (游蕙禎), Kenny Wong Chun-kit (黃俊傑) and Chan Chak-to (陳澤滔) of the Youngspiration-led electoral alliance have not signed the confirmation form.They received no e-mails asking about their stance on Hong Kong independence either – at least as of now. Yau made an email inquiry to the EAC on whether her candidacy will be officially approved.
Some pan-democrats who chose not to sign the form, including James To Kun-sun (涂謹申) and Roy Kwong Chun-yu (鄺俊宇) of Democratic Party, Sumly Chan Yuen-sum (陳琬琛) of Civic Party, and Leung Yiu-chung (梁耀忠) of Neighbourhood and Workers’ Service Centre (NWSC), have had their eligibility for candidacy confirmed.
‘Mad Dog’: Legco seats crucial for localists
Most localist candidates refused to sign the confirmation form issued by the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC). Raymond ‘Mad Dog’ Wong Yuk-man (黃毓民) presented his own a supplemental declaration form. He claims he has no fear of being banned from standing in the election.
“To bring order to chaos, what you can do is become part of the system and then you will have the chance to overthrow it,” Wong said submitting his nominations. “If we back down in face of political oppression, or retreat to some window-dressing protests, we are letting Leung Chun-ying (梁振英) claim his victory.” He accused Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (林鄭月娥) of pressuring election officers to hinder localist candidates’ efforts, citing anonymous sources.
Asked of his stance on Hong Kong independence, he replied that he is for amending the Basic Law. “I’ve never declared my support of Hong Kong independence in the public. I intend to amend the constitution [Basic Law], but I will respect the young people who go for independence.”
For the other three of the five-member alliance, Chin Wan who runs in NTE and Wong Yeung-tat (黃洋達) who runs in Kowloon East (KLE) submitted their nominations today and they signed the confirmation form. Cheng Chung-tai (鄭松泰) who runs in NTW most likely will sign the confirmation form upon his submission of nominations tomorrow
HKI and Youngspiration responds by mockery
Both HKI and Youngspiration responded to the allegiance requirement with mockery. Edward Leung changed the background photo of his Facebook page to the book cover of Basic Law, and attached an URL linking to an official promotional video for Basic Law. Leung sarcastically states in his Facebook status, “I, Edward Leung Tin-kei, declare I will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. (我，梁天琦，示明我會擁護《基本法》及保證效忠香港特別行政區。)”
A Youngspiration parody video clip titled ‘Basic Dafa is good’ (基本大法好) features convenor Baggio Leung Chung-hang (梁頌恆) and New Territories West (NTW) candidate Kenny Wong satirically hailing the Basic Law. The clip combines the elements from a famous scene in Hong Kong blockbuster Shaolin Soccer (少林足球) (2001) and the famous slogan of Falun Gong (法輪功).
HKI and Youngspiration’s parody statements earned many Facebook likes, a huge viewership and positive feedback from their supporters. Their fans might support the decision of bowing to EAC and Beijing if that is necessary for HKI and Youngspiration’s electoral campaign.