The candidacy of Edward Leung Tin-kei of Hong Kong Indigenous for the upcoming Legislative Council election has been rejected by the returning officer of the New Territories East constituency.
Leung’s run attracted much attention as he received more than 60,000 votes in the LegCo by-election in February. His candidacy was rejected only three hours before a briefing hosted by the Electoral Affairs Commission for candidates on Tuesday night.
As Leung had previously expressed a pro-independence stance, the returning officer sent an email asking whether Leung still supported Hong Kong independence after submitting his application to run for a seat in the New Territories East constituency. Leung, in a reply, said the answer was a “resounding no.”
Leung distanced himself from past news clippings and social media posts collected by the returning officer suggesting he supported the cause, saying that they were “hearsay statements.”
He signed the controversial new Basic Law confirmation form in hopes of being able to run.
He also closed his old Facebook page, which contained statements that were “inconsistent with my present stance,” and opened a new one.
Leung was the sixth candidate to be disqualified after Chan Ho-tin of the Hong Kong National Party, Yeung Ke-cheong of the Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong, Nakade Hitsujiko of Nationalist Hong Kong, and Alice Lai Yee-man of the Conservative Party of Hong Kong.
The candidacy of Chan Kwok-keung, a pro-independence district councillor who was nominated to run in New Territories East, was also rejected on Tuesday. Those running in second and third place of the list were confirmed.
But the list of Baggio Leung Chun-hang, who was invited by Hong Kong Indigenous as a “substitute candidate” for Leung, was confirmed as able to run in New Territories East.