Date
27 April 2018
A total of 49 candidates were allowed to run in the Dec. 19 election of Hong Kong deputies to the 13th National People's Congress. Photo: Xinhua
A total of 49 candidates were allowed to run in the Dec. 19 election of Hong Kong deputies to the 13th National People's Congress. Photo: Xinhua

Only one democrat allowed to run in election for NPC deputies

The 19-member presidium will oversees the coming election has announced the list of candidates.

Only one aspirant from the pan-democratic camp made it to the list of 49 candidates approved to run in the Dec. 19 election of Hong Kong deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The presidium, which oversees the election, held a second meeting on Tuesday morning. After the meeting chaired by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen, as spokesman for the group, announced that a total of 59 people submitted applications to run in the election, but 10 of them were disqualified after screening.

Of the 49 candidates, 26 are seeking re-election while 23 are new faces, Lau said.

One of them submitted 1,073 nominations and topped all the others, followed by seven other hopefuls who submitted more than 800 nominations each.

NPC Standing Committee vice chairman and secretary-general Wang Chen had said earlier that the election criteria have changed, requiring all candidates to declare that they will safeguard the Chinese constitution and the Basic Law, uphold the “one country, two systems” principle, pledge loyalty to the People’s Republic of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and accept no financial assistance concerning elections from foreign countries.

Given those critera, only Chief Executive Election Committee member Dr. Roger Wong Hoi-fung from the pan-democratic camp got the green light from the presidium.

Civic Party lawmaker Dr. Kwok Ka-ki was barred from running because he refused to sign the declaration, while seven other pro-democracy activists and one who is for Hong Kong independence were also disqualified because some of their public remarks and actions in the past were seen as having contravened the content of the declaration.

Lau said the decision was based on recommendations made by the NPC Standing Committee after it collected material on the aspirants. Lau declined to provide more details. A 10th candidate was disqualified for failing to hand in any nomination forms.

Asked if there is a list of candidates favored by Beijing, Lau stressed that the 1,989 members of the electoral college have their own judgment and will cast their votes fairly and justly without being influenced any rumored list.

As to why businessman Lew Mon-hung, who had served an 18-month jail sentence for perverting the course of justice, was also allowed to run, Lau said anyone who meets the requirements and is not deprived of citizenship can be a candidate.

Lew is a former member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top advisory body.

Meanwhile, Kwok called the presidium’s decision to prevent him from being a candidate absurd and the election a fake one as its results have already been predetermined.

Kwok said he will write to President Xi Jinping and Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, to express his views about the election.

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TL/JC/CG

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