All council seats face contests, barring any bans - RTHK
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All council seats face contests, barring any bans

2019-10-17 HKT 17:10
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  • More than 400,000 new voters have signed up for next month's district council elections. File photo: AFP
    More than 400,000 new voters have signed up for next month's district council elections. File photo: AFP
The nomination period for next month's district council elections ended on Thursday, with an unprecedented number of people submitting papers for a chance to run.

Unlike four years ago, when 68 seats went uncontested, the ongoing protests seem to have invigorated the electorate this time, with an increase in both the number of registered voters and candidate hopefuls.

A campaign by some protesters to enrol more people as voters appears to have worked, as more than 400,000 new voters will be eligible to cast a ballot on November 24.

Barring a last-minute U-turn, all 452 seats should see contests as more than a thousand people are vying to become candidates.

Whether all hopefuls will be deemed eligible to run by the authorities, however, remains in question, as election officials have already questioned some of them on their political stance.

For example, those who had written or shared a picture on social media with the protest slogan "liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" have been asked to explain what this means to them.

But at least one candidate has been accepted even though the slogan was prominently used in his election manifesto.

One of the people who received similar queries was former student leader Joshua Wong, who is hoping to run for a seat in Southern District. He was asked to give his current view on the notion of self-determination for the Hong Kong people.

Academics have warned that if the authorities again ban hopefuls from running, the disqualifications may spark further protests.