Andrew Wan on Monday resigned as a district councillor, the latest pro-democracy figure to throw in the towel while behind bars awaiting trial.
Wan is one of scores of people accused of breaching the national security law by holding primary polls to choose candidates for Legco elections.
"Besides the security charge, I also face nine other charges which the authorities abusively slapped on me. And the fact that I'm on remand, there's really no way to continue to serve as a councillor," the former lawmaker said on social media.
He said this brings an end to his 18 years in public office in Kwai Tsing, but it doesn't mean he has stopped caring about public affairs.
Sai Kung District Council chairman Ben Chung and Eastern District councillor Andrew Chui both announced later on Monday that they were stepping down after being remanded in custody on the same charges.
At least 15 other district councillors had already resigned in recent months for a variety of reasons, some saying they would not take a planned oath of allegiance to the government, and others complaining there is no room left for representative democracy in Hong Kong.
Several of the former councillors; Lam Cheuk-ting, Gary Fan, Roy Tam, Henry Wong, Fergus Leung and Li Ka-tat, are facing the same subversion charge as the trio. The offence carries a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
On Sunday, Tai Po councillors Dalu Lin and Max Wu – who are not in custody – announced that they were stepping down, with Wu also quitting his party, the Neo Democrats.
"There's absolutely no more room for councillors.....although with much reluctance, you have to admit the era for representative democracy has come to an end," Wu wrote in his departure note.
Legco is expected to pass a bill this Wednesday which will lay out what it means to "uphold the Basic Law" and to "pledge allegiance to the SAR". There will be a disqualification mechanism for those in public office who fail to meet the requirements.
District councillors from the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood say they will take the oath, in order to continue to "defend the councils".
Last updated: 2021-05-11 HKT 01:10