Govt wrong to praise disqualifications: Ronny Tong - RTHK
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Govt wrong to praise disqualifications: Ronny Tong

2020-07-31 HKT 15:56
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  • Ronny Tong said if the Legco polls are delayed, it should be delayed by three to six months instead of one year. File photo: RTHK
    Ronny Tong said if the Legco polls are delayed, it should be delayed by three to six months instead of one year. File photo: RTHK
A member of Carrie Lam's Executive Council has criticised her government for issuing a statement expressing its full support for the returning officers who disqualified 12 members of the pro-democracy camp from September's elections.

Barrister Ronny Tong told RTHK's Backchat that he questioned some of the reasons put forward for barring the prospective candidates, and that any arguments over such decisions should be left to the courts to decide.

"If I were the government, I wouldn’t have issued such a statement, I would respect the system," Tong said, adding that the statement would have inflamed a lot of people.

He said it would be "unrealistic to expect that a fair and organized election can go ahead in September", but added that if the polls are delayed, it should be delayed by three to six months instead of one year, and that it all depends on scientific evidence.

When asked if and whether the Hong Kong government were being "sore losers" and feared defeat by the opposition camp in the polls, Tong said: "I can see that perception and I openly call for a more considered approach".

On Thursday, 12 democracy activists were told they would not be allowed to stand for Legco because of their previously stated political views.

The government issued a statement saying the electoral officers were correct in referring to a court ruling, which stated that the nominee must have the intention to not just comply with the Basic Law, but to “support, promote, and embrace it”.