CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Slap in face for democracy

HONG KONG (SE): A tangled web of government interference, an interpretation of the Basic Law by Beijing pre-empting a court decision and meddling in the affairs of the Legislative Council (LegCo) by the former chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has led the project officer from the Justice and Peace Commission, Jackie Hung Ling-yu, to refer to the barring of four members of the LegCo as political prosecution.
Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Edward Yiu Chung-yim were all disqualified from their seats by a court ruling on July 14 invalidating their oaths as members of the LegCo.
Hung insists that because it was Leung who filed the case against them in the first place, after the chairperson of the LegCo had accepted or allowed for them to be taken again, stripping them of their salaries is an unreasonable move, as is requiring them to pay court costs, which has left the four with huge debts.
Hung points out that despite the furore, after they were elected they did run their offices and involved themselves in the affairs of the LegCo, even though they were barred from voting in the chamber, and guided by the old principle of a labourer is worthy of their hire, they should receive recompense.
However, Hung believes that the legal web that has been wound around the four ensuring that they end up in enormous debt is really a disguised way of stopping them from running in the upcoming by-elections.
Hung called the meddling of an unelected chief executive in the affairs of elected LegCo members a slap in the face not just for the 10,000 or so people who voted for them, but also for democracy.

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