Dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of two picked leg­is­la­tors af­firmed by HK High Court

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By LUIS LIU in Hongkong luis­liu@chi­nadaily.com

Hong Kong's High Court dis­qual­i­fied two leg­is­la­tors-elect on Tues­day be­cause they al­tered their oath of of­fice and in­sulted the Chi­nese na­tion while be­ing sworn in last month.

The rul­ing fa­vored the Hong Kong gov­ern­ment's le­gal opin­ion sub­mit­ted to the court that the pair's oath-tak­ing on Oct 12 had "no le­gal ef­fect" un­der the Ba­sic Law-Hong Kong's mini-con­sti­tu­tion-or un­der the city's Oath and Dec­la­ra­tions Or­di­nance.

Hong Kong Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Le­ung Chun-ying wel­comed the judg­ment. He said the gov­ern­ment will study the re­cent Ba­sic Law in­ter­pre­ta­tion by the Na­tional Peo­ple's Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee and the court rul­ing, and con­sider fu­ture ac­tions in ac­cor­dance with law.

An­drew Le­ung Kwan-yuen, pres­i­dent of Hong Kong's Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil, said that within 21 days, the LegCo sec­re­tar­iat will of­fi­cially pub­lish that there are two va­can­cies aris­ing from the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion and that a spe­cial elec­tion will be ar­ranged by the Elec­toral Af­fairs Com­mis­sion.

The de­ci­sion is ex­pected to draw to a close the pub­lic out­rage over the pair's be­hav­ior, broad­cast live, in which Six­tus Le­ung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching de­vi­ated from the pre­scribed oath, added pro-in­de­pen­dence terms such as "Hong Kong na­tion" and used deroga­tory lan­guage to in­sult the Chi­nese na­tion. They also dis­played ban­ners pro­claim­ing "Hong Kong is not China".

Jus­tice Thomas Au Hing-che­ung agreed with the gov­ern­ment's view that Six­tus Le­ung and Yau "did not truth­fully and faith­fully in­tend to com­mit them­selves" to up­hold and abide by the Ba­sic Law as the oath states, as they "ob­jec­tively, clearly" did not rec­og­nize the "One Coun­try, Two Sys­tems" prin­ci­ple and the im­por­tance of "one coun­try".

The le­gal prece­dent from the city's Court of Fi­nal Ap­peal in 1999 states that "one coun­try" is the foun­da­tion for the es­tab­lish­ment of the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion un­der the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China and of the city's con­sti­tu­tional model un­der the Ba­sic Law.

Au stressed the author­ity of the in­ter­pre­ta­tion by the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the NPC, the na­tion's top leg­is­la­ture, is bind­ing on all Hong Kong courts.

More­over, Au dis­missed the ar­gu­ment made by the two sep­a­ratist law­mak­ers-elect chal­leng­ing the court's author­ity over mat­ters con­cern­ing the leg­is­la­ture, and re­it­er­ated the Ba­sic Law's "supreme" sta­tus in the city.

The High Court also ruled that the LegCo pres­i­dent had no power to ar­range for the pair to take the oath again.

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