Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse - GulfToday

Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse


Pro-democracy legislators announce their resignation from the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China. Tyrone Siu/Reuters

Gulf Today Report

Hong Kong's pro-democracy legislators resign en masse after government has stripped four lawmakers of their seats after China gave the city the power to disqualify politicians deemed a threat to national security on Wednesday.

Hong Kong’s government said the four would “lose their qualification as legislators immediately.”


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The statement came after The National People’s Congress Standing Committee — one of China’s top lawmaking committees — ruled that Hong Kong could remove any legislator deemed a threat to national security without going through the courts.

The four legislators after they were disqualified. Tyrone Siu/Reuters

The pro-democracy camp announced their decision in a news conference, hours after the Hong Kong government said it would be disqualifying Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung from the legislature.

"Today we will resign from our positions, because our partners, our colleagues have been disqualified by the central government’s ruthless move,” Wu Chi-wai, convener of the pro-democracy camp, said at the news conference.

"Although we are facing a lot of difficulties in the coming future for the fight of democracy, but we will never, never give up,” he said.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam listens to questions during a news conference. AP

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam said the disqualifications were “constitutional, legal, reasonable and necessary.”

Critics say the law’s broadly worded provisions are a hammer blow to the flickering freedoms that China promised Hong Kong could keep after the end of British colonial rule in 1997.

The 19 lawmakers from the opposition camp are expected to formally announce their resignation in a news conference later Wednesday. The group had said Monday that they would move to resign in a show of defiance if any pro-democracy legislators were disqualified.

The disqualification of the four legislators came after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which held meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, passed a resolution stating that those who support the city’s independence or refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty over the city, as well as commit acts that threaten national security or ask external forces to interfere in the city’s affairs, should be disqualified, according to the state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

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