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Beijing Bars Hong Kong Lawmakers from Taking Office

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Two democratically elected Hong Kong lawmakers have been barred from taking office by Beijing.

Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung, who represent the Youngspiration political party, won seats in September elections to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo).

The pro-independence elected lawmakers have refused to pledge allegiance to Beijing when being sworn in.

After using a derogatory term to refer to the mainland and declaring Hong Kong was not part of China during their swearing-in session in October, they were barred from office.

Image source AP

Image source AP

Beijing has now interpreted a section of Hong Kong law to mean any official who does not swear the oath properly cannot take office, said state media.

The move comes after weeks of chaos in the Hong Kong legislature.

There were also protests, and some scuffles, in Hong Kong on November 6, with at least four arrests.


Hong Kong’s Chief Executive CY Leung said his government would “fully implement” the ruling.

Hong Kong is semi-autonomous under the “one country, two systems” framework in place since it was returned to China in 1997.

Hong Kong’s mini constitution, the Basic Law, states Beijing still has the final say in how to interpret its laws.

The interpretation by Beijing’s rubber-stamp parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), marks Beijing’s most far-reaching intervention in Hong Kong since the handover.

Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching belong to the Youngspiration party, which sprang from the 2014 Occupy Central pro-democracy protests. They have called for Hong Kong to break away from China entirely.

Their attempts included using a variation of a derogatory word for China, and displaying a pro-independence banner.

Their oaths were invalidated amid chaotic scenes in the Legislative Council (LegCo).

China’s intervention came before a local court could issue its own ruling on whether Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching could be sworn in again.