Executive Council member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said barring any person from running in the chief executive election on account of his or her political beliefs would violate the Bill of Rights Ordinance, Ming Pao Daily reported on Wednesday.
Ip, a pro-Beijing legislator and a potential candidate in the 2017 election, made the remarks in response to a reporter’s query on whether the pledge of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (the Alliance) to end one-party rule in China would be considered anti-Communist.
Ip said to rule out any person from the chief executive race for being anti-Communist or pro-Communist would violate the Bill of Rights.
Former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, who is now vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, has categorically stated that an anti-Communist cannot become a chief executive candidate.
When asked about those who condemn the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, Ip cited Louis Shih Tai-cho from her own New People’s Party as a case in point.
“He goes to the June 4 vigil every year yet he is also a member of the chief executive election committee,” Ip said.
Legally, a person couldn’t be denied the opportunity to join the chief executive election simply for chanting slogans like “repudiate the June 4 incident”, she said.
For her part, Civic Party’s Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said she is never worried about attending the June 4 vigil as it is actually a patriotic move.
Patriotism doesn’t necessarily mean being loyal to the ruling party, she said.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said no one from the commercial sector raised any question about the June 4 incident or the slogans used by the Alliance in 2007 when he joined the chief executive election.
He said anyone from the pan-democracy camp who will run in future CE elections should clearly state their stance on the June 4 incident.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was also asked about his views on the thinking that seeking an end to one-party rule in China is to be an anti-Communist and that it is Hong Kong people’s responsibility to build a democratic China, but he opted not to comment.
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