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Hong Kong: Pro-Beijing camp blocks swearing-in of democracy activists

Pro-self determination lawmaker Eddie Chu argues with a pro-Beijing counterpart after members of the latter group walked out of the main chambers. Photograph: (AFP)

Hong Kong Oct 19, 2016, 05.56 AM (IST)

Chaos ensued in Hong Kong's legislature today as the pro-Beijing camp blocked the swearing-in of two new lawmakers who want the city to split from China, international news agency AFP reported.


Dozens of pro-Beijing lawmakers staged a walkout as a mark of protest, according to British national daily, the Guardian. 


The two lawmakers --Sixtus “Baggio” Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the radical activist Youngspiration party -- are among the five activist candidates who were voted into the Legislative Council (Legco) , Hong Kong's lawmaking body, last month amid a rising tide of anti-China sentiment in the semi-autonomous city, the Guardian reported. 


The young pro-democracy lawmakers had their oaths rejected last week after they draped themselves in "Hong Kong is not China" flags, according to AFP. 


Both refused to pronounce China properly, while they were being administered the oath that states that Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.


Yau was reportedly heard to replace the words "the People's Republic of China" with "the People's refucking of Zeena". 


Protesting lawmakers today lashed out at Leung and Yau for being “disrespectful” and insulting China and demanded they apologise, the Guardian report said. 


According to AFP, the chaotic scenes came after a late-night court bid on Tuesday by city leader Leung Chun-ying and justice secretary Rimsky Yuen to block the pair from taking up their seats. 


However, president of the Legco, pro-Beijing lawmaker Andrew Leung, had already given the green light for them to retake their oaths on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, the court refused to grant an injunction against the oath-taking, but gave permission for a judicial review into whether the pair should be disqualified, putting their future as lawmakers into question.


Hong Kong remains gripped with tensions amid fears that Beijing is tightening its grip. 


(WION with inputs from AFP) 

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