Move would target pro-democracy lawmakers in city’s elected legislature . . .
Local Hong Kong media outlet HK01 reported today that the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) may oust at least four pro-democratic Hong Kong legislators who have been accused of unlawfully filibustering in the Hong Kong Legislature. HK01 reports its sources saying that while the NPCSC will not specifically comment on the four legislators, it will set out a requirement that all members of the elected legislature must abide by the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR government. Should NPCSC pass the framework, the four legislators – Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-Ki, Kenneth Leung, and Alvin Leung – will likely be ousted. Pro-democratic legislators have pledged to resign en masse if the NPCSC pushes the disqualification. Pro-democratic legislators currently occupy 19 of the 70 seats in the legislature.
Crackdown on pro-democratic politicians . . .
The latest move is part of Beijing’s widening crackdown against pro-democratic politicians in the Hong Kong Legislature. Last week, the police arrested eight opposition politicians in connection with a violent clash in the legislature building in May. The Hong Kong Justice Department later laid 15 charges against the arrested politicians. While pro-Beijing politician Kwok Wei-Keung was sued by an opposition legislator via private prosecution for assault in the same incident, the Justice Department that took over the prosecution dropped the assault charge against Kwok. Hong Kong law allows residents to bring criminal proceedings against one another, but the Secretary of Justice has ultimate authority over such cases.
Carrie Lam statement to new U.S. Administration . . .
As the fate of pro-democratic politicians hangs in the balance, the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has urged the new U.S. administration to refrain from interfering in Hong Kong’s and China’s domestic affairs. Speaking from Beijing, Lam criticized the U.S. for suspending bilateral agreements and imposing sanctions on government officials. She added that she hopes that the U.S. and Hong Kong will continue to develop a “solid and mutually respectful relationship” moving forward.
- BNN Bloomberg: China set to oust Hong Kong lawmakers in fresh purge, HK01 says
- South China Morning Post: Carrie Lam decries US interference in Hong Kong affairs, hopes for ‘return to normalcy’ regardless if Biden or Trump next president
- South China Morning Post: Lawmaker’s private prosecution over alleged Legco assault ends after Hong Kong’s justice department takes over case, drops it