Perhaps striving for something close a Game of Thrones walk of atonement, pro-democracy legislators denounced Chief Executive Carrie Lam with cries of “shame” as she entered the Legislative Council chamber today for a Q&A session with lawmakers, which was cut short amid continuing protests.
“Carrie Lam’s administration manipulates elections. Shame,” some shouted, waving banners criticizing the banning of sitting lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick from contesting a rural election next year because of his political stance.
Chu — the 10th candidate disqualified by electoral officers since 2016 — was among several legislators protesting in the chamber.
Along with pan-democrats convenor Claudia Mo, he was ordered to leave by LegCo president Andrew Leung, who first suspended the session for 20 minutes, then scrapped it entirely after protests continued, according to HK01.
Lam has faced a backlash over the candidacy bans, with critics saying the process is being used to unfairly screen and block aspiring representatives.
Responding to questions yesterday, she said the government would study relevant legislation to see whether it should be changed to clearly spell out what the disqualification guidelines were, wrote The Standard.
The bans, handed down by electoral returning officers, have been brought against figures who have either advocated for Hong Kong independence or supported “self determination” for the city, with the government equating the latter with the former.
The justification is that, as the Basic Law states that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of People’s Republic of China, those positions contravene the city’s mini-constitution, which lawmakers are sworn to uphold.
Many of the disqualified figures, however, have amended or qualified their previous remarks and stated they do not support separation from the mainland. Electoral officers, though, have repeatedly stated they doubted the “sincerity” of such declarations.
The case raised eyebrows for its apparent inconsistencies given Chu — a founder of the Land Justice League — was sworn in as a lawmaker in 2016 without any objection to his political stance, leading pro-democrats to accuse the government of “moving the goalposts.”
In response to questions yesterday, Lam said the government had no plans to try and strip Chu of his seat in LegCo.