HK election hopefuls will need police approval - RTHK
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HK election hopefuls will need police approval

2021-03-30 HKT 13:07
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  • HK election hopefuls will need police approval
National security police officers are to run background checks on would-be election candidates to determine how patriotic they are, with securing the force's approval one of several new hurdles for those hoping to run for office.

Once potential Legco candidates have secured nominations from the chief executive election committee or functional constituency voters, the police will scrutinise the election hopefuls, before passing their findings to the Committee for Safeguarding National Security.

The security committee, which is chaired by the chief executive, will then make a decision as to the suitability of the would-be candidates, offering its opinions to a new vetting body – the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee.

The same process will also apply when it comes to people hoping to join the election committee.

Beijing's changes to Annex II of the Basic Law state that the security committee will decide whether a Legco candidate meets the legal requirements and conditions of upholding the Basic Law and swearing allegiance to the SAR.

"No legal proceedings may be instituted in respect of a decision made by the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee on the eligibility of a candidate for member of the Legislative Council pursuant to the opinion of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security," it adds.

Tam Yiu-chung, a local member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said the national security officials will be tasked with determining whether would-be candidates are "patriotic", and whether they might do things that "endanger national security".

Tam said this new system is needed to ensure that people who seek to "ruin Hong Kong" are kept out of the territory's political system.

As well as the CE, the national security committee comprises of senior government officials. As National Security Adviser, the director of Beijing's liaison office, Luo Huining, also joins the committee's meetings.
Last updated: 2020-03-30 HKT 15:13