Transcript of remarks by Acting CE at media session (with video)
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has already issued a press release this morning to respond to media enquiries about the Returning Officer's decision that, in accordance with the law, the nomination of an individual candidate of 2018 Legislative Council (LegCo) By-election is invalid.
In accordance with the Legislative Council Ordinance and Electoral Affairs Commission Regulations, the Returning Officer is required to decide whether a candidate of a LegCo By-election is validly nominated. The Government supports the Returning Officer to exercise their statutory power to discharge their duties under the law, so as to decide whether a nomination is valid.
All public officers responsible for electoral affairs, including the Returning Officer, have all along strictly adhered to the Basic Law, relevant legislation and legal advice, as well as the principles of political neutrality and impartiality, in the due execution of their public duties. They will adopt the same principles in handling matters relating to the LegCo by-election, in order to ensure that the election will be conducted in an open, fair and honest manner in strict accordance with the law.
When informing a candidate that his or her nomination is invalid, the Returning Officer has already provided reasons for the decision. In accordance with the requirement under the law, the Returning Officer has also endorsed the decision on the nomination form. Copy of the nomination form is available for public inspection. So there is absolutely transparency here.
As stated in the press release this morning, the Returning Officer decided that the nomination of the candidate concerned was invalid since the candidate did not comply with the Legislative Council Ordinance. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government agrees to and supports the decision of the Returning Officer.
Let me stress that "self-determination" or changing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region system by referendum which includes the choice of independence is totally inconsistent with the constitutional and legal status of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as stipulated clearly 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 self-determination or independence by any means, he or she cannot possibly uphold the Basic Law or fulfil his or her duties as a LegCo member.
I also stress here that Hong Kong has a well-established judicial system. In fact, the existing electoral law does provide for the mechanism of election petitions to handle possible disputes arising from public elections. Candidates may seek judicial redress in case they disagree with the decision of the Returning Officer.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, January 27, 2018
Issued at HKT 12:46
Issued at HKT 12:46
Audio / Video
Acting CE meets the media