Pro-in­de­pen­dence reps brawl in HK leg­is­la­ture

> Fears grow that Bei­jing may in­ter­vene in row

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

HONG KONG: Two law­mak­ers who want Hong Kong to split from China wres­tled with se­cu­rity in the leg­isla­tive coun­cil yes­ter­day, with one of them dragged from the cham­ber, as fears grow Bei­jing will step in over the saga.

In the third con­sec­u­tive week of chaos in the leg­is­la­ture, Bag­gio Le­ung and Yau Wai-ching en­tered the cham­ber de­spite be­ing banned from do­ing so, pend­ing the re­sult of a ju­di­cial re­view into whether they can take up their seats.

Yau ran up to a ta­ble at the front, set up her own mi­cro­phone and pro­ceeded to read out her oath of of­fice.

She was then sur­rounded by fe­male mem­bers of se­cu­rity and car­ried from the cham­ber when she tried to re­sist.

Af­ter also try­ing to take his oath, Le­ung was flanked by other pro-democ­racy law­mak­ers who pushed and shoved against se­cu­rity of­fi­cers who sur­rounded them in a cor­don and tried to push them out.

The meet­ing was ad­journed af­ter se­cu­rity failed to eject Le­ung from the cham­ber.

Pro-Bei­jing law­mak­ers shouted: “They are not qual­i­fied to take their oaths!” while the demo­cratic camp chanted for them to be al­lowed to take their pledges.

“My mis­sion was to com­plete the oath,” Yau told re­porters af­ter she was taken out. “I did com­plete my oath to­day.” Af­ter law­mak­ers moved the ad­journed meet­ing to a smaller side-room, se­cu­rity guards were hurt in a scuf­fle out­side as Yau and Le­ung tried to barge in.

The se­cu­rity staff were treated on stretch­ers in the meet­ing room be­fore at least three were taken to hos­pi­tal.

Yau and Le­ung won seats in city­wide polls last month, in which a num­ber of new law­mak­ers ad­vo­cat­ing self-de­ter­mi­na­tion or in­de­pen­dence swept to vic­tory.

But they are yet to be sworn in.

Their oath-tak­ing was put on hold and they have been barred from meet­ings, pend­ing a ju­di­cial re­view into their first at­tempt at tak­ing the pledge three weeks ago.

At that cer­e­mony, they draped them­selves in “Hong Kong is not China” flags and al­tered the word­ing of their pledges, in­clud­ing deroga­tory terms.

The ju­di­cial re­view, brought by the city’s leader and the jus­tice sec­re­tary, into whether they should be dis­qual­i­fied will take place at the High Court to­day.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported yes­ter­day that China’s top leg­isla­tive body will is­sue its own in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the city’s con­sti­tu­tion in a bid to bar the two law­mak­ers. – AFP

Se­cu­rity guards block Le­ung from re­tak­ing his oath in­side the cham­ber.

One of the three in­jured se­cu­rity guards is trans­ported from the leg­is­la­ture.

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