Hong Kong has disqualified four pro-democracy legislators. It comes after Beijing passed a resolution that would allow the local government to remove politicians from their positions if they’re deemed a threat to national security.
The disqualification came after meetings of China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee on 10 and 11 November.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said the committee passed a resolution to disqualify those who:
- Support Hong Kong’s independence.
- Refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty over the city.
- Commit acts that threaten national security.
- Ask external forces to interfere in the city’s affairs.
“This is clearly in breach of basic law”
The four politicians are Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung. They confirmed that they were disqualified in a news conference. Dennis Kwok said:
In terms of legality and constitutionality, obviously from our point of view this is clearly in breach of basic law and our rights to participate in public affairs, and a failure to observe due process
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
On Monday 9 November, 19 politicians from the pro-democracy camp said they would resign en masse if Beijing moved to disqualify any pro-democracy legislators.
A mass resignation by the pro-democracy camp would leave Hong Kong’s legislature with only pro-Beijing politicians. The pro-Beijing camp already makes up a majority of the city’s legislature. So a mass resignation would allow the passing of bills favoured by Beijing without opposition.
Earlier in 2020, the four now-disqualified pro-democracy politicians were barred from running for legislative elections. The elections were originally meant to happen in September before the government stated it would postpone them by a year. This was due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation. The four men later remained in their posts following the postponement.
The pro-democracy camp criticised the postponement as an attempt to block them from taking a majority of seats in the legislature. It came after they had held an unofficial pro-democracy primary to decide which candidates to field. 600,000 voters had participated in that process.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was expected to hold a news conference to address the disqualifications.Support us and go ad-free
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.