Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki has said he will run for the National People’s Congress (NPC) to combat its “unreasonable” decisions on Hong Kong, and to promote “genuine freedom and democracy” in China in accordance with the ideals of late Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Kwok is the only major pro-democracy figure to run. But he will not sign a required form declaring that he upholds the Chinese Constitution, and admitted that he will likely be disqualified from running.
He said he hopes to scrap Beijing’s 2014 decision to impose a restrictive framework on Hong Kong’s chief executive elections and invalidate its five interpretations of the city’s Basic Law. He also said he hoped to bring the Charter ’08 manifesto into China’s top legislature – Liu was jailed for 11 years for co-writing the pro-democracy document.
Kwok obtained the right to vote in the election of the NPC’s Hong Kong delegation because of his lawmaker status. Candidates must obtain at least ten nominations from other voters, which Kwok said he was confident about gaining.
Speaking about his chances on Monday, he said: “The National People’s Congress election is a fake one, it is very difficult to run or win. But as a voter, I need to stand up for Hongkongers, and I hope Hongkongers will understand how unfair it is through this campaign.”
“Even for the pro-Beijing camp, if someone is not blessed [by Beijing], they cannot win either,” he said. “If this is just a show, why can’t I put on my show as well?”
Previous efforts by pro-democracy lawmakers to run for a seat have all failed.
He said he has no issues with other items on the declaration form – such as upholding the Basic Law and pledging allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – but said the Chinese Constitution should be amended according to Charter ’08.
He quoted the charter as saying: “… amend the Constitution, deleting clauses in the current Constitution that are not in conformity with the principle that sovereignty resides in the people, so that the Constitution can truly become a document that guarantees human rights and allows for the exercise of public power, and become the enforceable supreme law that no individual, group, or party can violate, establishing the foundation of the legal authority for democratizing China.”
He said he expected that he will be disqualified from running: “It is very difficult for me to uphold a Constitution that cannot protect the democracy and freedom of Hongkongers and all Chinese people.”
“Disqualification is now the norm… But if we give up opportunities, I am afraid in the future we won’t be able to run for anything.”
Chin Po-fun, a pro-democracy activist with the Mong Kok “Gau Wu” protests, also said she was seeking nomination to run for a seat.