Hong Kong’s Law Society, which represents more than 10,000 solicitors, on Friday, November 13, urged the government to provide a legal basis for the removal of four opposition lawmakers. They were disqualified after the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPSC) passed a resolution. The resolution gives power to local authorities through which they can unseat local politicians without the involvement of the city court.
In a statement, the law society said, “To ensure due process, transparency and accountability in all its actions, the [city] government is duty-bound to address clearly those concerns, in particular, the legal basis on which the disqualification was effected”. As per the reports by ANI, the seven law society council members said, “ Legislators are representatives of those people who must not be unseated by the executive branch alone; otherwise the right of political participation would be seriously abrogated”. The council also included three newly elected members- Davyd Wong, Michelle Tsoi Wing-tak and Janet Pang ho-yang.
According to BBC, the disqualification came after the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which is one of China's top lawmaking bodies, allowed Hong Kong to remove legislators, who posed a national security threat, without having to go through the court process. The four lawmakers recently disqualified are said to be connected with the pro-democracy movement, a political movement that has managed to garner huge international attention since it sparked about one a half years ago. After the four lawmakers namely Alvin Yeung, Kwok Ka-ki, and Dennis Kwok, and Kenneth Leung were disqualified, all of the remaining pro-democracy lawmakers resigned to stand in solidarity with their colleagues. The four lawmakers were part of the group of 12 legislators, who were denied to take part in the election in September this year, which was later postponed until next year citing COVID-19 concerns.
According to the report, the new resolution was suggested to Beijing by China-backed Hong Kong Chief executive Carrie Lam, who wanted the four lawmakers to be gone immediately as the term of the current legislation was extended for one year and barring them from elections would not have been possible until 2021. The latest resolution comes nearly four months after the draconian National Security Law was passed by Beijing, which allowed them to prosecute anybody demanding separation from China.