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's Nomination Inv: ion 34(1(b) of the District Councils Ordinance (Cap. 547) s that apetson is not validly nominated as a candidate for an lection for a District Council unless the nomination form includes or is accompaniec by a declaration ("Declaration") tothe effect that the uphold the Basie Law (“BL”) and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR"), ‘The Declaration is contained in section 1(4) of Part Il of the nomination form. “Mr WONG Chi Fung (‘Mr WONG”) submitted a duly signed nomination form including the Declaration to the Returning, Officer on 4 October 2019, In addition, the Electoral Affsirs Commission has prepared a Confirmation Form for the use of the Returning Officer, in order that cevery candidate may confirm that in signing the relevant declaration in the nomination form, he/she hes clearly understood Articles 1, 12, and 159(4) of the BL, the legal requirements and obligations." Mr WONG also submitted a duly signed Confirmation Form to the Returning Officer on 4 October 2019, Similar to section 40(1)(bY) of the Legislative Council Ordinance (Cap. $42) and section 24 of the Rural Representative Election ‘Ordinance (Cap. 576), the Declaration requirement under the District Councils Orditance imposes a substantive requirement that « person ‘must uphold the BL and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR. A Returning Officer would generally regard the Declaration requirement as having been complied with if a candidate has submitted the nomination form with a signed Declaration. This position would not apply in a plain case where there are cogent, clear and compelling materials which would demonstrate to an objective reasonable person that the candidate plainly cannot have the intention athe time of the nomination, When considering the validity of Mr WONG's nomination, 1 have taken all relevant factors into account, with the objective of ascertaining whether Mr WONG has the requisite intention to uphold the BL and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR at the time of Although Mr WONG hhas not indicated in his nomination form his Political affiliation with Demosists (254.38), it is noticed that he has, since 2016, heen the Secretary-General ({U%#4) of Demosiets, ‘organisation of which he was one of the co-founders. to the information published by Demosist at its website, Demosisté adop's “democratic self-determination” (“ER3: 438") as its “cardinal objective” (“Fis ;. In an earlier article written by Mr WONG dated 13 April 2016 entitled “EQ: EI » BEAR BUITS BNE HUIIRESE LEB” (which is still ‘currently available at the website of Demosista), he stated that "£23 Ro BIBLE | SEBS ER SEE TARMED Iis also noted thatthe doctrine of “democratic selfdetermination” as promoted by Demosist6 (“the Doctrine”) was explained in an article dated 27 June 2016 entitled “BRE EI SeBREEM— FAME SEGHRGSRIBI” (which is also currently available at the website of “BCE RUBE» Bk ERBEEES y (EASE CUM « HTT ENE » ME BELMUTTA BEATS » FRPP ABOSENEEE 2047 SECO BERT BE) (50 FFE, AAT UBL UE REE Bit + LIEB BELT A SAR MBLS » GB AP DE LEB ERTIES AUER EWE ERD » LAER EIR ZERR 5 BE BAVA LETTUD DLE ROR + RE RAED RTE ERE TEE » KHER TERS F BAMSURE EG + BONBORIT CERI » AGRE LIED EARLE DIM + AADTER AMER 1 OEE AER INSE «” }. Based on the above, there is a consistent case that it has been Demosisto's stance (Which one might also tend to believe to be that of Mr WONG's who has been its key office bearer) that the independence of Hong Kong is an option for self-determination for Hong Kong people. . An objective reasonable person, having considered the above acts and words over ¢ period of time by Mr WONG, would have doubts as to whether he nas the professed present intent to uphold the BL as at the time when he signed the Declaration in the nomination form, Reading all the above statements together objectively, it i nL. China's sovereignty over the HICSAR and whether he is of the view that independerce and referendum would be options for Hong Kong. In order to determine the validity of Mr WONG's nomination, Mis Dorothy MA (‘Mrs MA"), the then Returning Officer for the South Horizons West Constituency, sought clerification from Mr WONG ‘on 14 October 2019 and he replied before the deadline on 15 October 2019 (“1 Reply"). The questions and Mr WONG?s answers in the 1* Reply are attached hereto as Attachment 1, In his 1" Reply, not only did Mr WONG not disown or disassociate himself fiom the Doctrine, he went on to further elaborate his lunderstanding of the Doctrine by claiming (in answering question iO) that his view is in fact the same as thet of Chow Ting's as referred to in paragraph 38 of the judgment of Chow Ting v Teng Yu yan Anne (The Returning Officer for the Hong Kong Island Constituency) and Au Nok-hin, CAL 804/2018; [2019] HKCFI 2135. One would have reasonable grounds to believe that Mr WONG, in view of the key postion he currently holds in Demosist, subscribes to the Doctrine or at least knowingly allows himself to be identified with:he Doctrine, In order to further ascertain Mr WONG's intention, Mrs MA wrote to Mr WONG azsin on 16 October 2019 asking two follow-up questions, to which Mr WONG replied before the deadline on 17 October 2019 ("2" Reply”). ‘The relevant questions and. Mr WONG's answers in the 2” Reply are attached hereto as Attachment 2, It is obvious from paragraph 1 of the 2" Reply that Mr WONG, boeing its Secvetary-General, supports and subseribes to the Doctring 28 put forward oy Demosistd. “In both of his 1* and 2" Replies, Mr WONG did not answer directly whether of not he still promotes and supports the independence of Hong Kong as an option for self dete on._In the 2" Reply, what Mr WONG appeared to be doing is no mote than giving his own assessment that, t the moment, the independence of Hong Kong lacks sufficient support from the public for it t become an option for self-determination, His answers, when viewed objectively in context, ean be understood as Suggesting that whether independence could be an option for Hong Kong people is contingent upon the public opinion in Hong Kong, Which is plainly inconsistent withthe BL. 14, According to the Court of First Instance’s judgment in the Chow Ting “ow Any person who advocates for the indepenclence of Hong Kong, or for a process of “self-determination” by Hong Kong People (in the ordinary sense in which that expression is used), whether before or after 30 June 2047, cannot genuinely and truthflly intend to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance 10 the HKSAR” (at paragraph 36) 15, Hong Kong is, and shall continue to be, an inalienable part of China under the constitntonal principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity ‘nd national unity, both now and post 30 June 2047, As such, any process, doctrine or campaign which may undermine these constitutional principles, even if itis intended only to be effective after 30 June 2047, is incompatible with the BL and the status of Hong Kong as a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China. 16, Given that Mr WONG did not give direct answers to the questions in his first two replies on issues, especially those as to whether the independence of Hong Kong is an option, as a further attempt to ascertain Mr WONG's intention, I wrote to Mr WONG on 25 October 2019 and he replied before the deadiine on 26 October 2019 ("3 Reply”). The relevant questions and Mr WONG?s answers in the 3" Reply are attached hereto as Attachment 3. 17, In paragraph 4 of his 3" Reply, Mr WONG, in trying to address the question whether Demosist6 and he himself promote and support the notion that the independence of Hong Kong is an option for self. determination (“notion”), resorted to quoting a statement made by President Xi Jinping on 13 October 2019, claiming that because of the stern threat (SREIS|@R") carried in such statement, there is no way Demosist6 or himself would promote or support that notion, Tn dlisceming Mr WONG's true intention, itis important to note that Demosist's Doctrine and Mr WONG's professed aspiration of “democratic self-determination”, which embodied the notion, are held by them trem as early as 2016. As a matter of objective reasoning, Mr WONG, by quoting and referring to President Xi inping’s statement made as recently as in October 2019 as a "stern threat” in his 3" Reply, was suggesting that both Demosist@ and he ‘were pressed to saying that they have given up the n« compromise, instead of genuine intention 18. Mr WONG also claimed in paragraph 7 of his 3" Reply that Demosist6’s statement which “agrees that a referendum should include independence and local autonomy as options” (“B]S-AHIE {OIE MICAH, Fi SMH") is merely a description of the possible political views that the public might support atthe time, and Goes not mean Demosistd promotes that self-determination must include something as necessary options (“ISM 7F (RR BERGHE FAMED IR ITE”), This is clearly to mislead the Feaders to believe that itis not Demosist's stance that independence could be an option for selfdetermination, 19. Mr WONG was trying to mislead the readers that both Demosists and he have abandoned the notion when neither have infact done so, AAs he clearly claimed in paragraph 10 of his 3 Reply, his stance had never changed (“EREIIISTE BEG"), Viewed objectively, clear doubts remain on the truthfulness of his elaim in paragraph 4 of his 3° Reply thet neither DemasistO nor himself promote and support the notion given the way in which Mr WONG was addressing the direct questions repeatedly putt him, 20, In response to the first two rounds of questions, Mr WONG could have but failed to directly answer the question whether Demosist6 and he himself promote and support the notion, It was only in paragraph 4 of his 3% Reply that Mr WONG, for the first time, tried to suggest that Demosist® and he himself do not promote and support such # notion. Moreover, forthe reasons stated in paragraphs 17 to 19 above, Mr WONG's responses in the 3 Reply and his reasoning fail to demonstate any change of the clear stance of Demosist stated in paragraph 7 above and from which Mr WONG docs not categorically distance himself (se further discussion below). 21, As to Mr WONG?s own stance, nowhere in his replies did he distinguish his own aspiration from that of Demosist6. This means that there is nothing in his replies which tebuts the objective presumption that his view isthe same as that of Demosists's because not only of his political affiliation with the latter but also his being a key office bearer of it. Moreover, in paragraph 12 of his 3" Reply, hhe actually stated in unambiguous terms that he subsctibed to the notion that under non-binding ways of gauging public opinion, the independence of Hong Kong can be an option for self-determination (BRE AOK BWSR HIRAI SAB EET, ‘268 FAC —{BHOH"). This isin substance a “no” answer i). His concept of selfdetermination which is inclusive of the independence of Hong Kong as an option (whether oF s not subject to certain conditions) is clearly incompatible with the BL. According 10 the judgment in Chan Ho Tin v Lo Ying-ki Alun (Returning Officer for New Territories West Geographical Constitwency) and others, HCAL. 162/2016; [2018] 2 HKLRD 7, the requirement to uphold the BL denotes not just a compliance of it but also an intention to support and promote it. Mr WONG's adoption of a concept of selfdetermination which is inclusive of the independence of Hong Kong as an option objectively shows he does not genuinely and truthfully uphold the BL, no matter whether the process of selfdetermination is to be conducted by way of a legally- binding or non-binding referendum, 22. I have considered Mr WONG?’s various public statements since 2016 ‘made in his capacity as the Secretary-General of Demosisté, as well as his replies dated 15, 17 and 26 October 2019 to the Returning, Officer's questions. When looking at all the relevant materials in totality, I consider that Mr WONG's stance on the independence of Hong Kong and self-determination has been consistently the same. 23. Having considered the above and the legal advice obtained, 1 am not satisfied that Mr WONG duly complied with seetion 34(1)(b) of the District Councils Ordinance in making the Declaration. {therefore decide that Mr WONG Chi Fung is not validly nominated. wath Retutning Officer forthe South Horizons West Constituency 2019 District Council Ordinary Election 29 October 2019