'Election officials must weigh up opposition to law' - RTHK
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'Election officials must weigh up opposition to law'

2020-06-03 HKT 18:46
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  • Alice Mak says people who don't support the national security legislation don't support the Basic Law. File photo: RTHK
    Alice Mak says people who don't support the national security legislation don't support the Basic Law. File photo: RTHK
Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Alice Mak said on Wednesday that election officials will have to consider whether people who have expressed opposition to Hong Kong's upcoming national security law should be disqualified from standing in the city's polls.

She said while this is a matter for returning officers to decide, it would be a reasonable conclusion to reach that anyone who doesn't support the legislation would also fail to support the Basic Law.

Mak's comments come after Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee which is to impose the security legislation on Hong Kong, said that anyone who doesn't back the move must be banned from running in the SAR's elections.

The next Legislative Council polls are to be held on September 6, less than a year after the pro-democracy camp crushed their rivals in the district council elections.

"The national security will be inserted into Annex III of the Basic Law, so it will be, in fact, part of the Basic Law. If anybody says they do not support the national security law, which is part of the Basic Law, we can reasonably think that that person does not support the Basic Law," Mak said.

"Is it a criteria for disqualification? I think I will leave it to the election officers to make a decision."

In recent years, returning officers have banned a number of would-be candidates from Legco and district council polls on the grounds that their political beliefs suggest they would not uphold the Basic Law.

While some of those barred from elections went on to win legal challenges over the moves, their victories were due to the fact that they hadn't been given a chance to defend themselves, rather than because such disqualifications are wrong.

Pro-democracy legislators on Wednesday said a call to ban critics of the national security legislation from standing in elections appears to be an attempt to wipe out the whole of the city's opposition camp.