Later this week Hong Kong’s government will create a bill, which demands that local councils oath allegiance to the mini-constitution of Hong Kong, which further stifles the democratic opposition.
The Mainland and Constitutional Secretary Erick Tsang said politicians thought insincere would be blocked and a day after the Chinese government officer made provision for ‘patriots’ running Hong Kong, details of the Bill should be published.
“The law will fulfil the constitutional responsibility of the government,” Tsang said.
“You cannot say that you are patriotic but you do not love the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party or you do not respect it – this does not make sense,” Tsang added. “Patriotism is holistic love.”
Every councilor who was suspended after the loyalty test had failed, would be sent to court to formal disqualify him and for five years he would be prohibited from competing for elections.
In the 2019 elections of Hong Kong, nearly 90 per cent of 450 council seats were taken, humiliating pro-Beijing camp, and this Bill may open the doors to mass disqualification by pro-democrats politicians.
While county councils decide little beyond issues of community importance like the collection of waste and bus stops, the authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong are determined that people that are loyal to Beijing have to run all public institutions in the city.
The Hong Kong and Macao State Council Director Xia Baolong said on Monday that Hong Kong can be governed only by patriots, a term he has said includes people who are fond of China, its Constitution, and the Communist Party, excluding ‘disorder makers’ of anti-Chinese.
Carrie Lam, CEO of Hong Kong, endorsed Beijing on Tuesday, stating that changes had to be made to stop hatred towards China and to maintain an Asian financial center model for “one country, two systems” governance.
The Bill will be debated by the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 17 Mar.
Prior to that, the Chinese parliament will convene on Mar 5 and Hong Kong is expected to be subjected to a series of electoral changes, critics saying that the autoritarian turn taken by the city after the enforcement of a comprehensive national safety law in June 2020 would be strengthened.
Tsang stated that four councilors would be disqualified once the law is adopted, since they had previously been disqualified from standing for elections to the Legislative Council.
Henry Wong, Yuen Long suburban councilor for democracy, said that he still decided to oath the new law.
“This is just an act to legalise their brutal force in destroying democracy voices,” he said.
The councils are Hong Kong’s only fully democratic body. The Legislative Council has pro-Beijing figures and is not directly elected as its chief executive.
Around a tenth of the votes were taken by the District Councils of a 1,200-member committee which elects the city’s leader every five years. By design, that committee also has figures for Beijing.