Pro-independence reps brawl in HK legislature
> Fears grow that Beijing may intervene in row
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.