China bars 2 Hong Kong legislators who deliberately mangled their oaths

World Today

au Wai-ching, Sixtus LeungIn this Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016 photo, newly elected Hong Kong lawmakers Yau Wai-ching, center left, and Sixtus Leung, center right, are surrounded by photographers outside the legislature council in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

A fallout surrounding two Hong Kong lawmakers who provocatively altered their oaths of office last month, continues as the mainland government has passed measures to bar them from taking office.

On Monday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) issued a ruling that prevented the two from retaking their oaths. The panel further said that anyone who advocates for Hong Kong’s independence is disqualified from election and should be under legal investigation.

Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), says his government will fully implement the decision against Leung and Yau.

Leung Chung-hang, 30, and Yau Wai-ching, 25, caused controversy after deliberately mangling their oaths during a swearing-in ceremony on October 12. The two replaced the term “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China” with “Hong Kong nation,” and held provocative banners and pronounced “China” as “Shina” – a pejorative term that the Japanese used during World War Two.

Their oaths, along with that of three others, were invalidated.

According to the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law handed down by NPCSC, oath taking is the legal prerequisite and required procedure for public officers specified in the Article to assume office.

No public office shall be assumed, no corresponding powers and functions shall be exercised, and no corresponding entitlements shall be enjoyed by anyone who fails to lawfully and validly take the oath or who declines to take the oath, it spelled out.

An oath taker must take the oath sincerely and solemnly, and must accurately, completely and solemnly read out the oath prescribed by law, the content of which includes “will uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China”, according to the interpretation.

The chief executive noted that whoever refuses to properly take the oath “is regarded as having forthwith lost their qualification for the corresponding public office and therefore cannot assume their post, exercise their duties or enjoy the corresponding benefits of the office.”

Journalists read through copies of press statements

Journalists read through copies of press statements of interpretation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law released by an officer before a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. China’s top legislature effectively barred two democratically elected separatist lawmakers from taking office in Hong Kong with a ruling Monday on the city’s constitution, an intervention into a local political dispute that’s likely to spark further turmoil in the southern Chinese city. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Last Thursday, the High Court in Hong Kong finished hearing a judicial review regarding the two lawmakers. As the legal body is yet to decide on the case, speculation has emerged that the NPCSC interpretation could impact the court ruling and undermine the SAR’s judicial independence.

Li Fei, Deputy Secretary-General of the NPCSC and Chairman of the Basic Law Committee, explained that the constitution of People’s Republic of China’s, to which Hong Kong abides, as well as the region’s Basic Law, grant the NPCSC the legal right and power to interpret local laws.

Story by CCTV News.