As the Hong Kong Legislative Council election in September approaches, officials are making sure that the status quo will not be challenged, no matter the outcome. The HK government has announced that candidates will have to submit a nomination form in which they recognize Chinese rule of Hong Kong, failing to do so could result in criminal penalties or disqualification.
“The community expects that the election will as usual be conducted in an orderly manner in accordance with the law,” a statement issued by the special administration government reads. It continues that candidates will have to sign a nomination form, pledging to uphold Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which includes these articles:
Article 1 states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China.
Article 12 states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall be a local administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, which shall enjoy a high degree of autonomy and come directly under the Central People’s Government.
Article 159(4) states that no amendment to the Basic Law shall contravene the established basic policies of the People’s Republic of China regarding Hong Kong.
With the rise in pro-independence candidates running for legislative office, the government seems anxious to nip that problem in the bud. HKFP quotes Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung illustrating the government’s view on the matter: “It was said in the preamble of the Basic Law that, since ancient times, Hong Kong is a part of China… this fact would not change after 2047 (the year “one country, two system expires).”
Furthermore, the Electoral Affairs Commission issued another statement, “reminding” candidates that a false declaration could cause the person to be “liable to criminal sanction.” Meanwhile, refusal to sign could mean disqualification.
Pan-democrats were appalled by the new regulations and have refused to sign anything until meeting with the chief of city’s election, SCMP reports. We’ll have to wait and see how that meeting goes, but this certainly isn’t looking good for those hoping for a return to British rule.
Democracy at its finest.
By Sarah Lin