Press Releases in Hong Kong

Eligibility vetting of LegCo hopefuls ‘fair, reasonable’

This March 12, 2021 photo shows the exterior of the headquarters of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the Legislative Council in Hong Kong. (LI GANG / XINHUA)

HONG KONG – The vetting results of the would-be candidates for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election is fair and reasonable, and reflect a broad representation for a new legislature to better serve public interest, people from legal and business sectors said on Friday.

The comments came after the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee confirmed the validity of 153 hopefuls and disqualified one, in line with provisions of the Legislative Council Ordinance, due to his being a part-time government employee.

The disqualification of registered nurse Lau Tsz-chun, who filed her nomination to run in the functional constituency race for the medical and health services sector seat, showed that the duties of administrative and legislative bodies have a clear boundary and cannot be mixed, said Barrister Lawrence Ma Yan-kwok.

READ MORE: LegCo polls: Vetting panel clears all but one hopeful

Coming from various backgrounds, the eligible candidates hold different political stances. Ma reckoned that the vetting results demonstrate the LegCo seats are open to all who sincerely support “one country, two systems” and bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  

No-one is disqualified simply because of holding political views different from the government

Ronny Tong Ka-wah,

Executive Councilor

Senior counsel and Executive Councilor Ronny Tong Ka-wah thinks the eligibility review is of great importance since it prevents the election system from being undermined by disruptors.

No-one is disqualified simply because of holding political views different from the government, he said. The whole review process ensures openness and balanced representation of Hong Kong’s election system, he added.

In a social media post on Friday, barrister Kacee Ting Wong said the vetting committee has ensured the election, slated for December 19, will be just and fair. The upcoming election will be competitive, as 153 candidates will vie for 90 seats and competition will exist in all three types of constituencies, he added.

Former Eastern Court magistrate Symon Wong Yu-wing said the vetting results cleared some people’s concern that scrutiny will be tightened and competition will be stifled under the new electoral system. 

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The diversity of eligible candidates’ backgrounds showed that the LegCo election under the new system can reflect a broad range of public opinions, he said. 

Business leader Shih Wing-ching said the vetting mechanism, which aims to help establish patriot-led administration in the city, is conducive for the orderly operation of the legislature. Previously, the LegCo was often hijacked by the opposition camp, which severely disrupted its operation, he added.