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Legislative Council elections 2016

‘There is no need to use guns’: localist Legco candidate Chan Chak-to sounds bold call for support on independence

Election forum also sees other candidates take on the thorny issue and trade barbs about past incidents

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 August, 2016, 9:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2016, 11:46am

Legislative Council candidate Chan Chak-to has made use of an election forum hosted by public broadcaster RTHK to promote independence.

Chan, from the Kowloon East Community group, also called on the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, to be scrapped.

The localist made the claims during the two-hour election forum broadcast on Sunday, after making a similar declaration in an earlier election forum hosted by TVB on August 14.

“I do not believe the ‘one country, two systems’ policy can be materialised any more. And we see that our core values like democracy and rule of law are now being stepped on. Therefore, we need to get rid of anything related to the policy if we want Hong Kong independence.”

Independence talk takes centre stage at Legco electoral forums

He claimed he believed achieving independence would not necessarily result in war, saying: “There is no need to use guns. The most important [thing] is the people’s support.”

He also criticised pan-democratic candidate Wu Chi-wai, of the Democratic Party, for supporting the “one country, two systems” policy.

Chan had earlier said he advocated self-determination and would not promote independence in the capacity of a candidate.

But he became more vocal in supporting the idea of independence after his nomination was approved despite his refusal to sign the new electoral form confirming full understanding of the Basic Law, which states that Hong Kong is “an inalienable part” of China.

During the forum, Labour Party candidate Wu Sui-shan had avoided clarifying her stance on the idea of independence despite being repeatedly questioned by her pro-establishment rivals.

Softly, softly: Hong Kong localist candidates play it coy on independence issues

But she said: “Hong Kong people should be allowed to decide our future and the way the place is to be governed.”

Wu blamed Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for the rise of pro-independence sentiments, and said Leung should be replaced.

Pro-establishment candidate Patrick Ko Tat-pun of Voice of Loving Hong Kong said schools should not be allowed to be used as a platform to promote independence.

The forum also saw a war of words between candidates from two radical political groups. Tam Tak-chi of People Power accused Wong Yeung-tat of Civic Passion for failing to protect youngsters after encouraging them to use radical means in protests.

The rise of the localists fighting for seats on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council

Tam was referring to a lingering row between the two groups in which Wong’s group allegedly failed to give full support to young protesters during a protest outside the Legislative Council building in June 2014, when legislators were debating a government funding request for a northeastern New Territories development.

Wong was criticised for only showing up briefly, then departing after protests turned violent.

Wong denied Tam’s accusations.

For a full list of candidates, please see http://multimedia.scmp.com/legcocandidates/