Home PoliticsPolitical Protests With Hong Kong’s democrats gone, why not get rid of the rubber-stamp legislature altogether?

With Hong Kong’s democrats gone, why not get rid of the rubber-stamp legislature altogether?

by admin

Pity the pan-democrats no longer sitting in what has, as of this week, become a rubber-stamp Legislative Council (Legco). When the administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam used Covid-19 as an excuse to postpone the September elections – in which pro-establishment lawmakers were poised to take a beating – most of Legco’s 22 pan-dems, despite their outrage, felt duty-bound to stay on for the year-long extended term. Otherwise, they reasoned, there would be no checks and balances on a government moving at warp speed toward the authoritarian dark side.

Kwok Ka-ki, Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok and Kenneth Leung are unseated from the legislature on November 11, 2020. Photo: Dennis Kwok, via Facebook.

 As it turns out, however, the three opposition lawmakers who chose to quit the legislature – Tanya Chan of the Civic Party, Eddie Chu of Council Front and Raymond Chan of People Power – showed both prescience and principle. Here we are just a month into what Chu and Raymond Chan rejected as an “illegal term” and four pan-dem legislators have been booted out of Legco, prompting all of the remaining 15 to declare that they will resign in protest on Thursday.  

The Chinese leadership, reportedly angered by the filibustering employed by pan-dems to frustrate government initiatives, acted on Wednesday to bring these delaying tactics to a halt. As reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC), China’s top legislative body, endorsed a resolution stating that Hong Kong lawmakers should be removed from office if they are deemed to have opposed Beijing’s sovereignty over the city, backed calls for independence or engaged in any acts jeopardising national security, such as calling for foreign powers to interfere in Hong Kong or mainland affairs. Although disrupting legislative procedures through filibustering was not mentioned in the resolution, it was almost certainly also a factor.

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