A barrister said on Monday that the government has no legal grounds to stop people running in the September Legislative Council elections just because they refuse to sign a new declaration stating Hong Kong is an inseparable part of China.

The new form, which also asks candidates to declare their support for the Basic Law and allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, was announced by the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) last week.

This drew strong criticism from some candidates and lawyers. They see the form as a tool to suppress free speech and the “politically incorrect”.

The latest to find the declaration a politically motivated tool is Linda Wong, a spokeswoman from the Progressive Lawyers Group.

She told RTHK’s Candice Wong that the government’s move was excessive as the original forms candidates have to submit already include provisions stating the support of the Basic Law.

Some pan-democratic parties have scheduled a meeting with the chairman of the EAC, Barnabas Fung, on Tuesday.

Article was originally published in RTHK on 18 July 2016

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