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Localists'antics not befitting of lawmakers in Hong Kong

Updated: 2016-11-04 08:39
(China Daily)

Localists'antics not befitting of lawmakers in Hong Kong

Kowloon West lawmaker-elect Priscilla Leung Mei-fun (second right) celebrates with her party colleagues after winning a seat in the Legislative Council election during a press conference of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong at Admiralty on Monday. Parker Zheng / China Daily

In Hong Kong on Thursday, the Court of First Instance heard a judicial review filed by the special administrative region's chief executive and the secretary for justice over whether the president of the Legislative Council has the power to allow legislators-elect to retake the oath of office a second time.

The judicial review came after two lawmakers-elect-Sixtus Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching-were allowed by LegCo President Leung Kwan-yuen to retake the oath after they deliberately changed the wording the first time, invalidating their initial swearing in.

As the pro-establishment lawmakers staged a walkout in protest at their behavior, the two have not yet taken the oath a second time and the review has been initiated to see whether the law and relevant procedures entitle them to retake the oath.

Even though members of LegCo are immune from legal action in respect of their statements at a meeting of the Council, the two have not been sworn in yet. And, by overtly showing pro-"Hong Kong independence" banners while taking the oath the first time and refusing to pledge their allegiance to the People's Republic of China, their actions have violated the Basic Law.

Such blatant attempts to divide the nation and Hong Kong people are in direct breach of the requirement of all public office holders in Hong Kong that they accept and respect that the special administrative region is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China.

The Basic Law is designed to ensure the proper implementation of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle in Hong Kong and all the constitutional arrangements of the HKSAR are made to safeguard the nation's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity as well as Hong Kong's stability and prosperity. Both the constitutional document and the "One Country, Two Systems" principle must be upheld by all means.

The LegCo swearing-in episode has made it clear how much damage "localist" lawmakers could inflict on Hong Kong and its relations with the Chinese mainland, and many residents in the SAR are loath to tolerate behavior that could jeopardize the national security and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

Many in Hong Kong are therefore questioning whether Yau and Leung are suitable to be lawmakers, since their behavior was designed to cause friction.

As such, the prevailing sentiment is the two elected lawmakers will only have themselves to blame if the court rules they cannot retake the oath and are unable to perform a lawmaker's duties.

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