Hong Kong disqualifies 4 pro-democracy legislators

HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong has moved to disqualify four pro-democracy legislators, after Beijing passed a resolution that would allow the local government to remove lawmakers from their positions if they’re deemed to threaten national security.

The disqualification came after the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, which held meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, passed a resolution to disqualify those who support the city’s independence or refuse to acknowledge China’s sovereignty over the city, as well as commit acts that threaten national security or ask external forces to interfere in the city’s affairs, according to the state-owned Xinhua News Agency.

The four lawmakers – Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung – confirmed that they were disqualified in a news conference with the press.

“In terms of legality and constitutionality, obviously from our point of view this is clearly in breach of basic law and our rights to participate in public affairs, and a failure to observe due process,” said Kwok.

On Monday, 19 lawmakers from the pro-democracy camp said they would resign en masse if Beijing moved to disqualify any pro-democracy lawmakers.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is expected to hold a news conference to address the disqualifications.

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