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HK oath ceremony not a platform for devilry

By Wang Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-18 07:59

HK oath ceremony not a platform for devilry

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents join a rally outside the Legislative Council complex to show support for the NPC Standing Committee's interpretation of the Basic Law on Nov 13. Roy Liu /China Daily

On Tuesday, the Hong Kong High Court ruled that two legislators-elect have been disqualified for violating the Basic Law of the special administrative region and the local ordinance on the oath-taking process when assuming office.

The ruling came eight days after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress released an interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law.

Article 104 stipulates that, "when assuming office, the Chief Executive, principal officials, members of the Executive Council and of the Legislative Council, judges of the courts at all levels and other members of the judiciary in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region must, in accordance with law, swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China".

This interpretation was released after legislators-elect Sixtus Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching deviated from the prescribed oath, added pro-independence terms such "Hong Kong independence" and insulted the Chinese nation at the LegCo oath-taking ceremony on Oct 12.

The oath administrator immediately declared their oath invalid and the Hong Kong High Court disqualified the two legislators-elect for altering their oath of office and insulting the Chinese nation.

This has sparked debates on whether pro-"Hong Kong independence" individuals are qualified to be legislators. The incident is related to the "one country" concept in the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, which is crucial for not only key national interests such as national sovereignty and territorial integrity, but also the normal functioning of LegCo and Hong Kong's social stability.

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