Hong Kong district councilor expelled after failing to swear loyalty oath
Peter Choi, who was elected from the Eastern District of Hong Kong Island, failed to appear alongside 24 colleagues for a mass swearing-in ceremony on Friday. He was expelled from the board with immediate effect.
Officials also asked seven other advisers – Clarisse Yeung and Leung Pak-kin from Wanchai, Wei Siu-lik, So Yat-hang, Chan Wing-tai and Lai Tsz-yan from Eastern, and Michael Pang from the southern district – to information after finding their oaths “questionable”.
“As the oath administrator had doubts about the validity of the oaths taken by seven district council members, they were required to provide additional information for the oath administrator to decide on the validity of their oaths,” he said. Xinhua state news agency reported.
Yeung and Pang also face charges under a draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong by the CCP from 1st of July, 2020. They are among 47 former lawmakers and democracy activists accused of “subversion” for participating in a democratic primary ahead of scheduled elections to the Legislative Council (LegCo).
Leung said via social media that he received until 5:00 p.m. local time on On Monday to answer the question.
The remaining 17 advisers on Hong Kong Island will be allowed to remain in their seats, after being sworn in, officials said.
While the pro-democracy camp has taken control of all but one of the city’s 18 councils in November 2019, more than 260 district councilors resigned amid a continued crackdown on public dissent and compulsory swearing-in since the National Security Act came into force.
Participation in Macau collapses
District councilors, LegCo members and around 170,000 Hong Kong officials are expected to swear allegiance to the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the People’s Republic of China.
The National Security Law criminalizes any kind of public statement that could be seen as inciting animosity against the authorities, both in Hong Kong and Beijing.
The person administering the oath determines whether an oath is valid or not, and there is no right of appeal, in accordance with an oath-taking law that came into force on May 2021.
An election candidate monitoring body has already been set up under the National Security Law, under the supervision of the National Security Police and former police chief Chris Tang, to eliminate people who claim to be patriots, officials said.
Meanwhile, voter turnout plummeted in the general election held in the former Portuguese city of Macau after officials disqualified 21 opposition candidates after saying they had proof that “they did not comply Macao Basic Law and were not loyal to Macao “.
The turnout fell nearly 15 percentage points to just over 42%, from 57% in the 2017 general election.
Opposition in prison or abroad
“[The reason behind it was] obviously a very well-kept state secret, “Ng satirically added.” Legally, the logic is utter nonsense. “
“People are just categorized with various labels, and the treatment they distribute is decided after you have been labeled.”
Macau-based journalist Choi Chi Chio said there was little public interest in the general election.
“Generally, the people of Macau think this election did not make sense,” Choi told RFA. “The central government doesn’t even allow people to play the role.”
“The same is happening in Hong Kong.”
He said there was little chance that someone with pro-democracy views would come close to public office in either city anyway.
“Even if [opposition candidates] walked in, they wouldn’t look anything like the traditional kind of Democrats … maybe people who never talk about the Tiananmen Massacre and never oppose China; there are so-called centrists in Macau… like that, ”Choi said.
Most of Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers are either in jail or have fled overseas since the crackdown on the National Security Act began.
Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.