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Ousted lawmakers say court fight may be futile

2020-11-14 HKT 11:49
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  • Ousted lawmakers say court fight may be futile
Ousted lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said on Saturday that he and his camp are still pondering whether it's worth launching a legal challenge to Beijing's decision to expel him and three of his allies from the Legislative Council.

Kwok says that even if local courts decide to grant a judicial review of the decision, the National People's Congress Standing Committee could issue an interpretation of the Basic Law that effectively overruled what the judges decided.

Kwok and his colleagues Dennis Kwok, Alvin Yeung and Kenneth Leung were stripped of their seats in the legislature this week, after the Standing Committee ruled that lawmakers may be expelled if they are deemed not to support the Basic Law and be loyal to the SAR.

It said 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.

Pan-democrats reacted angrily, with 15 lawmakers resigning in protest. Some pro-Beijing figures have said the four could challenge the ruling in the local courts if they're unhappy, but Kwok said he and his three former colleagues are hesitant.

"Since Wednesday, we have been thinking carefully about whether we should go ahead for the judicial review," Kwok said.

"But when we are doing consideration, we must observe the fact that...what we learn from the past experience is when there is a chance that the applicant is going to win the case, there may be and definitely there will be another interpretation by the NPC Standing Committee.

"At the end of the day, those who are inclined or may have a very high chance of winning will lose."

He added that he and his colleagues have limited resources and that they have to think carefully, while conceding that they don't have much of a chance to win the case.

And in a statement published only in Chinese on Saturday, Security Secretary John Lee said he fully supported Beijing's decision to expel the four.

He said the lawmakers, whom Beijing accused of disloyalty to the SAR and the nation, had failed to live up to their oaths of office.

And it's a basic criteria for any society under the rule of law to ask lawmakers to face the music, Lee said, and the central government's decision is "what the hearts of the people lean towards".