Critics of Legco expulsions 'have ulterior motives' - RTHK
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Critics of Legco expulsions 'have ulterior motives'

2020-11-14 HKT 15:49
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  • The government says criticism from overseas over the disqualifications is 'groundless'. File photo: RTHK
    The government says criticism from overseas over the disqualifications is 'groundless'. File photo: RTHK
The Hong Kong government on Saturday hit back at criticism from foreign governments and political figures over the disqualification of four pro-democracy lawmakers – a move that presaged the resignation of Legco's 15 remaining pan-democrats.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee ruled on Wednesday that lawmakers may be expelled if they are deemed not to support the Basic Law and be loyal to the SAR. The SAR government announced soon afterwards that Civic Party legislators Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok and Kwok Ka-ki, as well as accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung would be stripped of their seats.

Both the UK and the US government accused Beijing of breaking its international obligations, and violating the SAR's autonomy, with Washington warning of further sanctions for those found "responsible for extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom."

The government here expressed its "staunch opposition" and "strongest condemnation", against what it called groundless accusations.

It said there was "no question of 'destroying One Country, Two Systems or a high degree of autonomy'.

"It is also far from the truth for others to accuse the NPCSC decision of stifling human rights or freedoms, or undermining democracy or the legislature's checks and balance over the executive," the government said.

The SAR government said that accusations were "politically motivated" and had the "ulterior motive" of undermining the relationship between the SAR and the central authorities.

It accused foreign governments of applying double standards, as members of the US Congress an the UK parliament also have to sweat oaths of allegiance and those that do not would not be able to take office.

"No country will turn a blind eye to the breaching of oaths or acts of treason by public officers including legislators," it said.

"Those foreign political figures are clearly applying double standards, the same tactic they deployed in vilifying the Hong Kong National Security Law," it added.

The government said the Standing Committee's decision was "constitutional, lawful and necessary", adding that it provided a solid legal basis.

The government again demanded foreign governments stop interfering in the SAR's internal affairs "in any manner".

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng wrote on her blog that it was correct for Beijing to handle constitutional matters in Hong Kong because "China is a unitary state and power comes from the Central Authorities".

She said it went without saying that lawmakers who had been barred from running for election would also be barred from remaining in Legco after the poll was postponed.