Beijing disqualifies four pro-democracy lawmakers - RTHK
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Beijing disqualifies four pro-democracy lawmakers

2020-11-11 HKT 13:05
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  • Beijing disqualifies four pro-democracy lawmakers
The SAR government announced on Wednesday that pro-democracy lawmakers Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung had been stripped of their seats in Legco with immediate effect.

The move came after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) passed a resolution saying that legislators who promote or support Hong Kong independence, refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong, ask external forces to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs or commit other acts that threaten national security should be disqualified.

The NPCSC said in order to ensure the smooth implementation of One Country, Two Systems and the city's long-term stability, all public officers in Hong Kong – including lawmakers – must support the Basic Law and be loyal to the SAR.

Xinhua News Agency said while Beijing's decision will apply to future lawmakers, it also applies to the four serving lawmakers who had been barred from running in September's Legco elections, before the polls were scrapped.

The four ousted lawmakers spoke to the media just moments after the news was announced.

"This is a sad day, but it is also a glorious day for us all. We are stepping down, however there are more Hong Kong people with aspirations, with drive, with hope, with values, who can succeed us. And I’m sure they will continue to fight for the core values of Hong Kong," said Leung.

Yeung said in future he will be just like any other ordinary Hong Kong resident, but will still be here and "in full support of Hong Kong".

“The road ahead will be bumpy, difficult and challenging, and in fact just like every winter, it will be extremely difficult. But I am in full faith of Hong Kong and all Hongkongers, for simple reasons. Because we know we have thousands and thousands of youth, and in fact Hongkongers of all ages, who are willing to sacrifice and contribute to Hong Kong", Yeung said.

Dennis Kwok referred to comments he made when he was criticised for the way he handled the election earlier this year of a House Committee chairperson.

"They threatened to disqualify me, they criticised me. At the time I said I was exercising my powers and functions under the rules of procedure, and to observe due process, which I believe is an important principle of the Hong Kong society. I said that if observing due process, protecting the systems and functions, and fighting for democracy and human rights leads to the consequence of being disqualified, it would be my honour, and I say the same today," he said.

"Obviously from our point of view, this is clearly in breach of the Basic Law and our right to participate in public affairs and also a failure to observe due process. I think that much is clear," he added.

Kwok Ka-ki, meanwhile, said it was a day to "remember and reflect on the fight for democracy".

"Today, One Country, Two Systems no longer exists. Anyone who made this decision has to answer to history and every one of the Hong Kong people," he said.

On Monday, 19 pan-democratic lawmakers said they would resign en masse if Beijing moved to have any of their camp disqualified.