Pan-democratic legislators including Wu Chi-Wai, Claudia Mo and Lam Cheuk-ting announced to resign from the Legislative Council after Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Kwok Ka-ki, Kenneth Leung and Dennis Kwok were disqualified when China passed a new resolution in Hong Kong, China November 11, 2020 Photograph:( Reuters )
The resignations by Hong Kong legislators is the latest blow to the city's beleaguered pro-democracy movement, which has been under sustained attack since China imposed a sweeping national security law, including arrests for social media posts and activists fleeing overseas
Hong Kong's pro-democracy legislators said on Wednesday that they were resigning en-masse after Hong Kong government's move to expel four legislators in the exercise of the new powers given to it by China. These 15 lawmakers made this announcement in a press conference just hours after four legislators were expelled. China has given Hong Kong powers to disqualify politicians that are deemed to be a threat to national security. The resolution was passed by China on Thursday.
The resignations are the latest blow to the city's beleaguered pro-democracy movement, which has been under sustained attack since China imposed a sweeping national security law, including arrests for social media posts and activists fleeing overseas.
"We, from the pro-democracy camp, will stand with our colleagues. We will resign en masse," Wu Chi-wai, convener of the 15 remaining pro-democracy legislators, told a press conference.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Hong Kong government ousted four pro-democracy members minutes after one of China's top lawmaking committees ruled that authorities in the semi-autonomous city could remove any legislator deemed a threat to national security without going through the courts.
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Hong Kong's leader is chosen by pro-Beijing committees, but half of its legislature's 70 seats are directly elected, offering the city's 7.5 million residents a rare chance to have their voices heard at the ballot box.
The mass resignation will leave the legislature composed almost entirely of those toeing Beijing's line.
The inability of Hong Kongers to elect their leaders and all of their lawmakers has been at the heart of swelling opposition to Beijing's rule that sparked months of huge and often violent protests last year.
China passed the security law in June to quell the protests, describing it as a "sword" hanging over the head of its critics.
(With AFP inputs)