Pro-democracy lawmaker Eddie Chu has hit out at an election officer handling his application to run for the role of village representative in Yuen Long.
The government official had asked Chu to state his position on Hong Kong independence as part of an interview that could bar him from running, should his comments be deemed unsatisfactory.
“I believe people running as village representative should not face such ridiculous political censorship,” Chu told reporters on Wednesdays. “I believe this is an abuse of the election officer’s power.”
Chu is running in an election to represent Yuen Kong San Tsuen in Pat Heung, Yuen Long next January, a village with 100 constituents. He submitted his application last Thursday and has since been listed as a “candidate” on the government website.
He currently represents New Territories West in the Legislative Council and is one of the remaining activists advocating the notion of self-determination who has yet to be challenged by the government in court.
Other advocates for self-determination, namely Nathan Law of political group Demosisto and Lau Siu-lai of Democracy Groundwork, have been disqualified as lawmakers. Lau and Demosisto’s Agnes Chow were barred from running in by-elections.
When an election officer barred lawmaker Lau Siu-lai from running in Sunday’s legislative by-election, they cited a joint statement signed by her – alongside Chu and political group Demosisto – in which they said they would defend independence as an option for self-determination for Hong Kong people.
Chu said on Monday that the election officer and district officer of Yuen Long, Enoch Yuen, had written to him with five questions that would allow Yuen to decide whether his nomination was valid.
“The election officer asked me whether Hong Kong independence is an option for self-determination. The idea behind that is that not only am I prevented from advocating for independence, I also have to oppose other people who take this political stance, otherwise I wouldn’t be upholding the Basic Law,” Chu told HKFP.
“I believe this idea is not in line with the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance,” he added.
HKFP has reached out to Enoch Yuen for comment.