Hong Kong Candidate To Skip Security Oath for First Day of Legislative Council Meeting

Hong Kong candidate Junius Ho Kwan-yiu will not be taking part in the first day of the legislative council’s proceedings because he did not sign a declaration form vowing to uphold the Basic Law and the national security law. The oath-taking session is a legal requirement for any new council member before they can assume their role. Ho, a pro-Beijing politician, said he did not sign the declaration because he found the wordings “problematic.” He has criticized the requirement as “unreasonable” and “unfair,” claiming that it is a way for the government to screen out opposition lawmakers..

The move is likely to further increase tensions between the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps in the council. The pro-democracy camp has already lost its veto power after the mass resignation of its members last year. With Ho’s absence, the pro-establishment camp will hold a majority of 89 seats out of 90..

The oath-taking requirement was introduced in 2021 as part of a series of measures aimed at suppressing dissent in Hong Kong. The national security law, which was enacted the same year, criminalizes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces..

Critics argue that the oath requirement and the national security law have eroded Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy. They say the laws are being used to silence dissent and target political opponents..

The Hong Kong government has defended the oath requirement, saying it is necessary to ensure that lawmakers are loyal to the city and the country. It has also defended the national security law, saying it is necessary to maintain stability and protect the city from foreign interference..

The oath-taking ceremony is scheduled to take place on Sunday, October 16. It will be presided over by Chief Executive John Lee, who was appointed by Beijing to lead the city..

Lee is a former police officer who has been criticized for his role in suppressing pro-democracy protests in 2019. He has promised to be “firm” in upholding national security and the Basic Law..

The oath-taking ceremony is expected to be closely watched by both the pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camps. It is seen as a test of the new council’s commitment to the Basic Law and the national security law..

The absence of Ho, a prominent pro-Beijing politician, is likely to be seen as a sign of further division within the council. It is unclear how the council will function with such a large majority held by the pro-establishment camp..

The oath-taking ceremony is also expected to be a reminder of the ongoing struggle for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *