HONG KONG, Oct. 12 (UPI) — Three incoming lawmakers for the Legislative Council of Hong Kong had their induction into the unicameral legislature invalidated for staging anti-China protests during their oath ceremony on Wednesday.
Legislative Council Secretary General Kenneth Chen said the oaths of Edward Yiu, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung were invalid after their pro-democracy protest during the required reading of an oath of office demanding loyalty “to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China,” including fealty to China’s constitution.
Sixtus and Yau displayed a banner that said Hong Kong “is not China.”
Yiu added lines to his oath, such as saying he would “fight for genuine universal suffrage.” Though many of the about 70 new lawmakers staged some form of pro-democracy protest Yiu, Yau and Sixtus were initially the only ones that saw their induction invalidated.
Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it became a special administrative region of China. The territory enjoys a high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle but the leaders of Hong Kong were chosen by a Beijing-supported committee.
Anti-China, pro-democracy and pro-Hong Kong independence sentiment has increased in Hong Kong. In 2014, protests were held for months demanding universal suffrage to no avail.