Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 11:22:04 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse after China ruling

photo by Agency photo

Pan-democratic legislators including Wu Chi-Wai, Claudia Mo and Lam Cheuk-ting announced to resign from the Legislative Council after Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Kwok Ka-ki, Kenneth Leung and Dennis Kwok were disqualified when China passed a new resolution, in

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

BBC News :
All Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers have resigned after Beijing forced the removal of four of their colleagues.
On Wednesday Beijing passed a resolution allowing the city's government to dismiss politicians deemed a threat to national security.
Shortly afterwards the opposition lawmakers said they would leave the city legislature in solidarity.
For the first time since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 the body has almost no dissenting voices.
BBC China correspondent Stephen McDonnell says the legislature was already stacked in favour of the pro-Beijing camp.
The dismissal of the four legislators is viewed by many as the latest attempt by China to restrict Hong Kong's freedoms - something Beijing denies.
China introduced a controversial and far-reaching national security law in Hong Kong in late June, which criminalised "secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces".
The law was introduced after years of pro-democracy and anti-Beijing protests. It has already led to several arrests of activists and has largely silenced protesters.
Hong Kong Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai told reporters following the lawmakers' removal: "We can no longer tell the world that we still have 'one country, two systems', this declares its official death."
Hong Kong - formerly a British colony - was returned to China under the "one country, two systems" principle, which allowed it to retain more rights and freedoms than the mainland until 2047. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
 has called the Chinese resolution "a further assault on Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and freedoms under the UK-China Joint Declaration".
"This campaign to harass, stifle and disqualify democratic opposition tarnishes China's international reputation and undermines Hong Kong's long-term stability."
Human rights organisation Amnesty International has also condemned the move. "Bulldozing through arbitrary decisions via the Chinese government makes a mockery of the rule of law," Asia-Pacific regional director Yamini Mishra said.
The territory's leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, is pro-Beijing and is supported by the central government there.
What happened on Wednesday?
The new resolution passed by China's National People's Congress Standing Committee says that lawmakers should be disqualified if they support Hong Kong independence, refuse to acknowledge China's sovereignty, ask foreign forces to interfere in the city's affairs or in other ways threaten national security.
It also allows the Hong Kong government to directly remove lawmakers without having to approach the courts.
Moments after that resolution passed, four lawmakers - Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki and Dennis Kwok of the Civic Party and Kenneth Leung of the Professionals Guild - were dismissed.
All four of them are considered moderates and they have never supported Hong Kong independence.
"If observing due process and fighting for democracy can lead to being disqualified, it [disqualification] will be my honour," Dennis Kwok said.
South China Morning Post newspaper quoted Ms Lam as saying no by-elections would be held in the four now vacant seats as legislative elections were only nine months away.
The city's pro-democracy legislators had 19 seats in the 70-seat legislature.
"We... will stand with our colleagues who are disqualified. We will resign en masse," the Democratic Party's Wu Chi-wai said. The 15 lawmakers' letter of resignation will be submitted on Thursday.
But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the disqualification of the four lawmakers was "rational, reasonable and in line with the constitution and laws".
"This was a necessary requirement for adhering to and improving on 'one country, two systems,' implementing Hong Kong's Basic Law, as well as Hong Kong's National Security Law," he said at a news conference in Beijing.
The four men were among 12 legislators who were earlier barred from standing in a legislative election planned this year but delayed until 2021.
The group had called on US officials to impose sanctions on those responsible for alleged human rights abuses in Hong Kong.
The Chinese government and its surrogates in Carrie Lam's administration have - in recent times - used specific problems as a series of excuses to introduce wholesale, Draconian changes which will remain in place long after whatever hurdle it is has been cleared.
In this case, four legislators had, controversially, been ruled ineligible for the next Legislative Council election.
However, because the term of the current legislature had been extended for a year, due to a delayed vote, they had been able to remain in their existing positions.
Carrie Lam wanted them gone straight away so she says she asked Beijing to introduce a new law enabling their immediate dismissal.
In reality, who knows whether Hong Kong's leader requested this move or was told it was going to happen by the Communist Party's senior leadership?
Either way, now the city government has been empowered to remove any pro-democracy politician who is seen to have acted with insufficient loyalty to the motherland in the future.
Crucially, the courts can be bypassed under the new rules and, now that the Hong Kong government has said that the concept of the separation of powers has never actually applied in the city, the executive branch is able to dismiss members of the legislature and their view is that this is not really anything to worry about.
What reasons are being given for the lawmakers' removal?
Speaking to the media, Ms Lam said the four council members who were disqualified had already been found to not fulfil the requirements to stand in the now-postponed elections next year. She added that although she "welcomes diverse opinions in the Legislative Council" these had to be expressed "in a responsible manner".
All members would have to be in line with the territory's mini constitution, the Basic Law, and other local legislation including the new national security law, she said.
"We could not allow members of the Legislative Council who have been judged not to fulfil the requirements to serve in the Legislative Council, to continue to serve there."
She also dismissed concerns that a mass resignation of the remaining pro-democracy lawmakers would turn the Legislative Council into a "rubberstamp" body.
What is the background?
As a Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong was to have its own legal system, multiple political parties, and rights including freedom of assembly and free speech.
In response to the security law - passed in response to months of pro-democracy protests - the UK has offered a route to British citizenship to residents still holding British National Overseas (BNO) status. Around 300,000 people currently hold BNO passports, while an estimated 2.9 million people born before the handover are eligible for one.
China last month strongly criticised the UK in response, telling London to "immediately correct its mistakes".

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

The issue is racial hatred and Myanmar election has no relevance to Rohingya crisis

FOLLOWING new election in Myanmar the UK government has called upon the country's leadership to address the security, safety and dignified return of the Rohingya refugees - over 1 million now in refugee camps in Bangladesh across the border. The UK Minister for South Asia and the Common Wealth Affairs ...

City »

Nagorik Oikya brings out a walkathon in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday marking Shaheed Noor Hossain Day.

Football »

Maradona to be discharged within two days, says doctor

Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona is recovering well from a brain operation and post-surgery complications and should be discharged over the next couple of days, his personal physician said on Monday. "Diego wants to go home and we are evaluating his discharge," Leopoldo Luque told reporters outside the hospital where the ...

International »

People wait outside a hospital to be tested for COVID-19 test in Kathmandu.

Entertainment »

Tanha pairs up with Irfan Sajjad in drama

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Basically Tanha Tasnia is a film actress. When she likes any story, she agrees to work in TV dramas sometimes. She worked with popular heroes like Zahid Hasan, Shajal, Apurba, among others in TV dramas. But she did not get the scope to pair up with Irfan ...

Entertainment »

24th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Farooki made Official Competition Jury

Entertainment Report :Popular Bangladeshi film director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki has become one of the five Official Competition Jury members at the 24th edition of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) set to take place from November 13 to 29 in Estonia. Farooki shared the news recently on his official Facebook ...

Editorial »

City Mayors have no time to go around the capital city to see how shameful is the condition

THE experts at a webinar on 'Town Planning for Public Health' while observing World Town Planning Day 2020 on Sunday blamed various factors including air, water and noise pollution, poor waste management, grabbing of natural water-bodies and rising temperature of the cities for the increase in incidence of various communicable ...

Sports »

Lily Zhang continues to shine at ITTF World Cup

Last year's semifinalist Lily Zhang of the United States continued her shining performance at the ITTF Women's World Cup by dispatching fifth-seeded Feng Tianwei to advance to last eight here on Monday.Playing from the group stage at this year's World Cup, Zhang lost to Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine in her ...

International »

Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators threaten mass resignations

Reuters, Hong Kong :Hong Kong pro-democracy legislators threatened mass resignations on Monday amid reports Beijing plans to disqualify four opposition lawmakers who had been accused by the ruling camp of potentially unlawful filibustering in the legislature.Earlier on Monday, local news site HK01 reported, citing unnamed sources, that Beijing might make ...

City »

State Minister for Information Dr. Murad Hasan speaks at a discussion organised on the occasion of Shaheed Noor Hossain Day by Bangabandhu Academy at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday.

International »

Iranian president says next U.S. admin should make up for Trump's mistakes

Reuters, Dubai :Iran's president said on Sunday the next U.S. administration should use the opportunity to compensate for President Donald Trump's mistakes, Iranian state reported after Joe Biden captured the U.S. presidency."Trump's damaging policy has been opposed ... by the American people. The next U.S. administration should use the opportunity ...

Football »

Maradona remains sedated in ICU

Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona remains sedated and under observation by a team of more than 10 doctors following a brain surgery, his lawyer said on Saturday.The 60-year-old has been in intensive care since undergoing a procedure to remove a subdural hematoma - an accumulation of blood between a membrane ...

Sports »

Gymnasts in Tokyo show how Olympics can pass virus challenges

Gymnasts from four nations tumbled, leapt and spun their way through a friendly meet in Tokyo on Sunday in a closely-watched event aimed at showing the world Japan can safely carry out the postponed 2020 Olympics in an era of coronavirus.Thirty gymnasts from Japan, the United States, China and Russia, ...

Cricket »

Shakib and others to attend BCB's fitness test from today

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will conduct a fitness test of 113 players including ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan in a bid to assess the condition of their fitness.On day one today (Monday), a total of 80 players including Shakib will undergo a fitness test. Later on Tuesday, the rest ...

Entertainment »

Faria Shahrin recalls childhood memories

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Everybody likes to visit childhood’s place to recall memories by own way. Same thing also happened in case of Lux sperstar popular actress and model Faria Shahin. Three days ago, Faria went to Cumilla along with her family. She visited Kamini Kutir, which was established in Cumilla ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news