A Hong Kong businessman says he will consider filing an election petition after a court rejected his legal bid to challenge pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin’s eligibility to stand for election.
The High Court rejected the judicial review filed by Wong Tai-hoi, saying he had not pursued the appropriate legal means. However, Mr Justice Anderson Chow said that Wong could file an election petition with nine other people to overturn the election result, or launch disqualification proceedings under the Legislative Council Ordinance.
Wong said that, although he respected the judgment, he was disappointed. Asked if he will file an election petition if his lawyers believe it could proceed, Wong said: “Yes, of course.”
“I do not have a final decision [regarding further action], but I will continue bearing the responsibility,” he said. He added that he will bear the legal costs himself.
The writ for the case claimed that Au should not have been allowed to run due to his alleged support for self-determination and Hong Kong independence. It challenged the decision of Anne Teng, the electoral official for the Hong Kong Island constituency, to allow Au to enter the race.
Pro-Beijing district councillor Wong Kwok-hing, who assisted Wong Tai-hoi, said the application hearing was about what suitable legal means were available, but it did not look into issues such as Au Nok-hin burning a mock-up of the Basic Law.
“It is not a problem at all to find ten voters of the Hong Kong Island constituency to file an election petition,” councillor Wong said. “I urge Hong Kong Island voters to come out for justice.”
Wong also claimed that he received a threatening letter from a “Comrade Au Nok-hin” on Tuesday and said he will report it to the police.
“Let’s see who will have the final smile – Au Nok-hin or the people,” he added. “The people will have the final smile.”
In response to the judgment, Au said the pro-Beijing camp should not use the legal system to make trivial and unnecessary complaints.
“I urge Wong Kwok-hing to be rational, he should not encourage the public to use legal procedures to overrule the result of an election – this is just being a sore loser,” Au said.
“They have to pay the legal fees – I believe a whopping number of luncheon meat will have to be paid, a very enormous price,” he added, referring to Wong’s habit of counting public losses in number of luncheon meat cans.