'Ruthless Move' Spurs Mass Resignation of HK Lawmakers

15 pro-democracy politicians step down after 4 colleagues were disqualified by Hong Kong's gov't
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 11, 2020 8:56 AM CST
'Ruthless Move' Spurs Mass Resignation of HK Lawmakers
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, center, listens to questions during a press conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers said Wednesday they were resigning en masse following a move by the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's government to disqualify four of their fellow pro-democracy legislators. The 15 lawmakers announced the move in a news conference Wednesday, hours after the Hong Kong government said it was disqualifying the four legislators: Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki, and Kenneth Leung. The disqualifications came after China's National People's Congress Standing Committee, which held meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, passed a resolution stating that those who support Hong Kong's independence or refuse to acknowledge China's sovereignty over the city, or threaten national security or ask external forces to interfere in the city's affairs, should be disqualified, per the AP.

"Today we will resign from our positions, because our partners, our colleagues have been disqualified by the central government's ruthless move," Wu Chi-wai, convener of the pro-democracy camp, said at the presser. "We are facing a lot of difficulties in the coming future for the fight of democracy, but we will never, ever give up." Earlier in the year, the four now-disqualified pro-democracy lawmakers were barred from running for legislative elections, now being held next year due to COVID-19. They were disqualified over their calls for foreign governments to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and Beijing. A mass resignation by the pro-democracy camp would leave Hong Kong's legislature with only pro-Beijing lawmakers. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Wednesday that lawmakers must act properly, and that the city needs a legislature comprised of patriots. Still, Lam said that the legislature would not become a rubber-stamp body, and that diverse opinion is welcomed.

(More Hong Kong stories.)

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