【回覆選舉主任的追問】

(Please scroll down for English version)

(選舉主任於11月28日下午四點的追問:https://goo.gl/unqfuP )

我們剛才已經回覆選舉主任,內容如下。感謝法夢成員黃先生協助,大家可參考他的文章:

村代表唔係《基本法》第104條所列既公職喎!
https://bit.ly/2AuHXKD

全文:


袁先生:
就你於 2018 年 11 月 28 日來函,現謹覆如下:

█(一)鄉郊代表選舉主任無權提出與確保提名有效無關的問題

1. 我認為你並無權力提出與確保提名有效無關的問題。謹闡釋如 下‥

2. 《鄉郊代表選舉條例》第 24 條規定,「除非提名某人為鄉郊地 區的選舉的候選人的提名表格載有或附有一項由該人簽署的聲明,示明該人會擁護《基本法》和保證效忠香港特別行政區,否則該人不得 獲有效提名。」

《選舉程序(鄉郊代表選舉)規例》第 7(3)條則規定,為了「令[選 舉]主任信納 … 提名是有效的」,「選舉主任可要求獲提名為候選人的人提供提名表格沒有涵蓋而該主任認為需要的資料」。

3. 區慶祥法官在「陳浩天案」處理過《立法會條例》及 《選舉管 理委員會(選舉程序)(立法會)規例》下的類似條文。即使退一萬步,假設區慶祥在該案中所陳述的法律屬正確(即選舉主任擁有調查候選人 政治信念的權力,而這並無違反人權),「陳浩天案」中有關立法會選 舉的邏輯,亦不可能同樣適用於鄉郊代表選舉。

區慶祥法官考慮過他所認為的立法歷史後(包括籌委會 1996 及1997 年區生認為對立法會選舉方式具約束力的決定),將《立法會條 例》第 40(1)(b)(i)條解讀為是為了執行《基本法》第 104 條而訂立, 所以裁定選舉主任在該條下有權調查候選人實質上是否真誠擁護《基 本法》及效忠中華人民共和國香港特別行政區。

但鄉郊代表並非《基本法》第 104 條中列出的’high office holders of the HKSAR'(「陳浩天案」判詞第 42 段;即「行政長官、主要官員、行政會議成員、立法會議員、各級法院法官和其他司法人員」)。即使是人大常委會 2016 年 11 月 7 日通過對《基本法》第 104 條的解釋, 亦僅指「[第 104 條]規定的宣誓 … 是參選或者出任該條所列公職的 法定要求和條件。」

4. 再者,立法會在訂立《村代表選舉條例》(2014 年改稱《鄉郊代表選舉條例》)時,完全並無如訂立《立法會條例》時般,考慮或 討論過當中第 24 條下有關聲明規定的內容,背後更無任何有約束力 的決定,要求村代表/鄉郊代表須擁護《基本法》及效忠中華人民共 和國香港特別行政區。

反而時任民政事務局局長何志平 2002 年在動議二讀《村代表選舉條例草案》時清晰地指出,「本條例草案的目的,是為村代表選舉 制定法律條文,以確保選舉公開、公平和公正,並符合《 香港人權法案條例》和《性別歧視條例》的要求」(2002 年 10 月 9 日立法會 會議過程正式紀錄頁 64)。

5. 無論如何,即使區慶祥法官亦須承認,任何有關的聲明規定, 必須從選舉、被選權等基本權利的背景下理解(「陳浩天案」判詞第 80 段)。在缺乏類似所謂立法歷史和《基本法》條文的支持下,實在 難以接受《村代表選舉條例》/《鄉郊代表選舉條例》第 24 條具有 跟《立法會條例》第 40(1)(b)(i)條一樣的效力(假設第 24 條本身是合 憲的話)。

法律上,選舉主任只可為了相關賦權條文的目的行使其法定權力:

‘Statutory power conferred for public purposes is conferred as it were upon trust, not absolutely – that is to say, it can validly be used only in the right and proper way which Parliament when conferring it is presumed to have intended . . .’
– Porter v Magill [2002] 2 AC 357 at para 19 per Lord Bingham quoting

Wade and Forsyth.

(亦可參考 Wong Kam Yuen v Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing [2003] 2 HKC 21 (HKCFI) at para 21 per Hartmann J.)

在這方面,《選舉程序(鄉郊代表選舉)規例》第 7(3)條的目的,是確保提名屬有效。如果《鄉郊代表選舉條例》第 24 條在正確的理解 下,並無強制候選人實質上證明自己擁護《基本法》和保證效忠中華 人民共和國香港特別行政區,亦即提名的有效性,並不依賴候選人的 實質政治信念,《規例》第 7(3)條自然就不可能賦權選舉主任作出與 此有關的提問,否則他或她行事的目的,就是法律並無授權、亦無預 見(假設《立法會條例》具此效果)的政治審查,而非確保提名的有 效性。

故此,我認為你並無權力提出與確保提名有效無關的問題。

█(二)回應提問(a):你認為我沒有正面回答你的問題,我並不同意你的說法,因為你的問題帶着錯誤的假設。你的問題假設「自決前 途」只能為一個特定機制,因此才有所謂主張香港獨立是否其中一個 「選項」的錯誤設想。然而,正如我昨日的回覆所指,「我提倡或支 持推動《基本法》和政制的民主化改革,包括但不限於修改《基本法》 158 及 159 條,作為中共封殺真普選後,港人自決前途的目標」;與 此同時,我沒有主張「香港獨立」。

█(三)回應提問(b):你在今日的回信中指「並沒有要求你就其他人的行為或主張表達意見」,不過,提問(b)的意思正是要求任何人若 希望成為鄉郊代表選舉候選人,不單自己不可主張港獨,也要明確地 反對甚至禁止其他參選人有相關主張。我認為這個要求違反《基本法》 及《香港人權法案條例》對言論自由的保障,亦顯然超出《鄉郊代表 選舉條例》對參選人的要求。

請你儘快就我於 2018 年 11 月 22 日提交的提名表格、11 月 27 日的回覆及上述的答覆,決定我的提名是否有效。若你需要其他的補充資料,請以電郵聯絡我。我就你的查詢保留一切權利。

2018 年 11 月 28 日
二零一九年鄉郊一般選舉
元崗新村選舉參選人
朱凱廸

【Reply to More Questions from Returning Officer】

Mr. Yuen,

I hereby reply to your letter dated 28 November:

█(1) Returning Officer of Rural Representative Election has no power to make any inquiries not made with a view to ensuring the validity of nomination

1. I consider that you have no power to make any inquiries insofar as they are not made with a view to ensuring the validity of my nomination. My reasons are as follows.

2. Section 24 of the Rural Representative Election Ordinance provides that “[a] person is not validly nominated as a candidate for an election for a Rural Area unless the nomination form includes or is accompanied by a declaration, signed by the person, to the effect that the person will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.”

On the other hand, section 7(3) of the Electoral Procedure (Rural Representative Election) Regulation provides that, “in order [for the Returning Officer] to be satisfied … as to the validity of the nomination”, “[t]he Returning Officer may require a person who is nominated as a candidate to furnish such information which is not covered by the nomination form as that Officer considers necessary”.

3. In Chan Ho Tin v Lo Ying Ki Alan [2018] 2 HKLRD 7, Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung (“Au J”) considered similar provisions in the Legislative Council Ordinance and the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Legislative Council) Regulation. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that the law as stated by Au J in that case were correct (namely that a Returning Officer has the power to inquire into the political beliefs of a candidate, without violating human rights), it is clear that the reasoning as applied in the case of Chan Ho Tin, which relates solely to Legislative Council elections, cannot be extended by analogy to Rural Representative Elections.

Having considered what he thought to be the legislative history (including two Resolutions passed by the Preparatory Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1996 and 1997 respectively which Au J believed to be binding), Au J interpreted section 40(1)(b)(i) of the Legislative Council Ordinance as having been enacted for the purpose of implementing Article 104 of the Basic Law, and decided on that basis that the Returning Officer had under that section the power to inquire whether a candidate, as a matter of substance, genuinely upholds the Basic Law and pledges allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

The important distinction, however, is that rural representatives are not those “high office holders of the HKSAR” listed in Article 104 of the Basic Law (Chan Ho Tin at para 42; namely “the Chief Executive, principal officials, members of the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, judges of the courts at all levels and other members of the judiciary”). Even the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, in its Interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law adopted on 7 November 2016, merely states that ‘the legal requirements and preconditions [contained in Article 104 are] for standing for election in respect of or taking up the public office specified in the Article.’

4. Further, unlike when enacting the Legislative Council Ordinance, the Legislative Council in enacting the Village Representative Election Ordinance (renamed in 2014 the Rural Representative Election Ordinance) never discussed nor gave any consideration whatsoever to the content of the requirement of declarations, still less to binding resolution of any sort which would compel Village Representatives (now Rural Representatives) to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.

What the then Secretary for Home Affairs, Patrick Ho Chi-ping, did clearly pointed out, in moving the Second Reading of the Village Representative Election Bill in 2002, is that “[t]he purpose of the Bill is to bring Village Representative (VR) elections under a statutory framework in order to ensure that they are conducted in an open, fair and honest manner and that they are consistent with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and the Sex Discrimination Ordinance” (Legislative Council, Official Record of Proceedings (9 October 2002) at p 90)

5. In any event, even Au J has had to concede that any relevant requirement of declarations “must be viewed against the involvement of the fundamental election right” (Chan Ho Tin at para 80). Here, in the absence of similar so-called legislative history or Basic Law provisions in support, it is difficult to accept that section 24 of the Village Representative Election Ordinance (now the Rural Representative Election Ordinance) is intended to have the same effect as section 40(1)(b)(i) of the Legislative Council Ordinance (on the assumption that section 24 were not unconstitutional).

In law, the Returning Officer may only exercise her statutory powers for the public purpose for which the powers were conferred:

‘Statutory power conferred for public purposes is conferred as it were upon trust, not absolutely – that is to say, it can validly be used only in the right and proper way which Parliament when conferring it is presumed to have intended . . .’

– Porter v Magill [2002] 2 AC 357 at para 19 per Lord Bingham quoting Wade and Forsyth.

(See also Wong Kam Yuen v Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing [2003] 2 HKC 21 (HKCFI) at para 21 per Hartmann J.)

In this regard, the object of section 7(3) of the Electoral Procedure (Rural Representative Election) Regulation is to ensure that a candidate’s nomination is valid. If, properly construed, section 24 of the Rural Representative Election Ordinance does not have the effect of compelling candidates to prove, as a matter of substance, that they uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, then the validity of the nomination does not turn on the substantive political beliefs of the candidate. Section 7(3) of the Regulation, in turn, logically cannot have empowered the Returning Officer to make inquiries in this connection, for otherwise the Officer would be acting for the purpose of political screening, which is neither authorised nor envisaged by law (assuming that the Legislative Council Ordinance does, by contrast, have this effect), rather than of ensuring the validity of the nomination.

Accordingly, it is my considered view that you have no power to make any inquiries insofar as they are not made with a view to ensuring the validity of my nomination.

█(2) In answer to question (a): you take the view that I have not directly answered your question, but I do not agree, because your said question carries mistaken assumptions. Your question assumes “self-determination" can only take the form of one designated mechanism, and hence the mistaken hypothesis on whether Hong Kong independence constitute an “option" for such mechanism. However, as stated in my reply yesterday, “I advocate or support moving for democratic reform of the Basic Law and the political system, including but not limited to amending articles 158 and 159 of the Basic Law, as a goal for the Hong Kong people in determining their own future after the Communist Party of China banned genuine universal suffrage"; at the same time, I do not advocate for “Hong Kong independence".

█(3) In answer to question (b): You stated in your reply today “did not require (me) to express opinion on other people’s actions or propositions", but the meaning of question (b) is precisely a requirement on anyone, if they wish to become eligible as a candidate for Rural Representative elections, not only to not advocate for Hong Kong independence themselves, but must also clearly oppose or prohibit other nominees in having related propositions. I am of the view that this requirement violates the protections on freedom of speech under the Basic law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, and clearly exceeds the requirements imposed by the Rural Representative Election Ordinance on persons nominated as a candidate.

Please confirm as soon as possible the validity of my nomination based on my nomination form submitted on 22 November 2018 and my replies to your questions dated 27 November 2018. Should you require other supplemental information, please contact me via email. I reserve all my rights in relation to your inquiry.

 

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