China: HKSAR opposition lawmaker's oath violation, misconduct "clear facts"


Local residents wearing protective masks walk past a closed retail space covered in rental advertisements at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday (April 21). A spokesperson for the Chinese central government on Tuesday (April 21) said the filibuster by Kwok Wing-hang and other opposition members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Legislative Council (LegCo) was ironclad evidence of their deliberate oath violation and may constitute misconduct in public office. - Bloomberg

BEIJING: A spokesperson for the Chinese central government on Tuesday (April 21) said the filibuster by Kwok Wing-hang and other opposition members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Legislative Council (LegCo) was ironclad evidence of their deliberate oath violation and may constitute misconduct in public office.

When asked about Kwok's argument after he was condemned that he was just taking advantage of the rules of procedures, the spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said when HKSAR LegCo members take office, they all pledged to uphold the Basic Law and swear allegiance to China's HKSAR through an oath-taking procedure.

But Kwok has violated the oath he took as he was sworn in at the LegCo and is likely suspected of committing misconduct in public office, the spokesperson said.

Kwok and some other opposition lawmakers deliberately delayed the procedure of the LegCo House Committee chairman election this year, causing the suspension of operation of the House Committee and preventing the timely discussion of a large number of bills on benefits to disabled groups, housing supply and public health that are closely related to people's livelihood.

Due to the filibuster by Kwok and some other opposition lawmakers, the LegCo House Committee has repeatedly failed to elect a chairman after 15 conferences over the past six months.

The election process would have taken mere minutes under normal circumstances, the spokesperson said.

Kwok has openly declared that he attempted to prevent the passage of bills including the National Anthem Bill, the spokesperson said, adding that Kwok had also colluded with some other opposition lawmakers to obstruct security arrangements of the LegCo.

The spokesperson stressed that according to the interpretation of Article 104 of Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), the taking of the oath stipulated by Article 104 of the Basic Law is a legal pledge made by the public officers specified in the Article and is legally binding.

The oath-taker must sincerely believe in and strictly abide by the relevant oath prescribed by law. An oath taker who makes a false oath, or, who, after taking the oath, engages in conduct in breach of the oath, shall bear legal responsibility in accordance with the law, according to the interpretation of Article 104 by the NPC Standing Committee.

According to the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance of the HKSAR, any person who declines or neglects to take an oath duly requested which he or she is required to take shall vacate his or her position if already in office.

According to the above laws, any member of the LegCo must bear the corresponding legal consequences if they violate their oath, the spokesperson said. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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