Hong Kong lawmakers walk out before oath-taking ceremony

Hong Kong, Oct 19 (IANS) Proceedings in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council were on Wednesday brought to a halt after most lawmakers staged a walkout before an oath-taking ceremony.

When the council session opened at 11 a.m. (local time), two lawmakers regarded as pro-government or pro-Beijing, took their oaths. But when three other lawmakers — two of them belonging to the localist party Youngspiration — readied to take the oath, most of the council’s 70 lawmakers walked out, Efe news reported.

The three lawmakers — Sixtus “Baggio” Leung and Yau Wai-ching from Youngspiration, and Lau Siu-lai — consequently didn’t take their oaths and the session was adjourned.

Some of the pro-government members said they walked out in protest because of the way the Youngspiration pair gave their oaths on October 12, when they pledged allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation” and referred to China as “Chee-na” — a term considered derogatory for its history of use by the Japanese during their occupation of China during World War II.

Those lawmakers also said that they want the Youngspiration lawmakers to apologise to the Chinese people.

Lau Siu-lai, for her part, was due to re-take the oath after hers was rejected last week when she reportedly read it out very slowly in an apparent bid to waste time.

Speaking to the media after the adjournment, Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the trio could take their respective oaths at a ceremony on October 26.

Youngspiration, established last year following the 2014 “Umbrella Revolution” protests in Hong Kong, seeks self-determination for the Special Autonomous Zone.



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