Hong Kong Disqualifies Second Pro-Independence Candidate

August 1, 2016

NewsStandOnline.Net (1-August-2016): The Hong Kong government’s decision to bar pro-independence candidates from next month’s legislative election risks giving the fringe issue more prominence in the campaign.

The Hong Kong Electoral Affairs Commission on Sunday said it disqualified Yeung Ke-Cheong, of the Democratic Progressive Party of Hong Kong, from competing in the Kowloon West district.

Yeung was the second candidate barred after refusing to sign a new pledge to uphold Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which says the former British colony is an “inalienable” part of China.

Hong Kong Disqualifies Second Pro-Independence Candidate

Calls for Hong Kong’s independence have gained traction since the 2014 Occupy Central protests failed to win concessions for what was supposed to be the territory’s first direct election of a chief executive next year.

The move to exclude candidates comes after several so-called “localists,” who advocate a more confrontational approach to securing greater autonomy from Beijing, announced plans to run in the Sept. 4 Hong Kong Legislative Council vote.

“It will highlight the demand for radical groups,” said Joseph Cheng, a former political science professor at City University of Hong Kong and a convener of the pro-protest Alliance for True Democracy. “This suppression would probably generate even more publicity for the local consciousness, or local identity, cause.”