Beijing [China], September 14 (ANI): Authorities in Hong Kong have expelled an elected pro-democracy member of the city's District Council for failing to turn up to pledge allegiance to the government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), while calling into question the oaths of seven other opposition councilors, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
The publication said that Peter Choi, who was elected in Hong Kong Island's Eastern District, failed to turn up alongside 24 colleagues for a mass oath-taking ceremony on Friday. He was expelled from the council with immediate effect.
Officials also asked seven other councilors -- Clarisse Yeung and Leung Pak-kin from Wanchai, Wei Siu-lik, So Yat-hang, Chan Wing-tai and Lai Tsz-yan from Eastern, and Michael Pang from Southern district -- for further information after finding their oaths "questionable.""As the oath administrator had doubts on the validity of the oaths taken by seven district council members, they were required to provide additional information for the oath administrator to decide the validity of their oaths," RFA reported citing Chinese media.
Yeung and Pang also face charges under a draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong by the CCP from July 1, 2020. They are among 47 former lawmakers and democracy activists charged with "subversion" for taking part in a democratic primary ahead of planned elections to the Legislative Council (LegCo), RFA reported.
Leung said that he had been given until 5.00 p.m. (local time) on Monday to respond to the request.
The remaining 17 councilor on Hong Kong Island will be allowed to remain in their seats after they took their oaths, officials said.
While the pro-democracy camp took control of all but one of the city's 18 councils in November 2019, more than 260 district councilors have resigned amid an ongoing crackdown on public dissent and mandatory oath-taking since the national security law took effect.
As China has strengthened control over Hong Kong through varieties of laws including the draconian National Security Law, the people of the semi-autonomous city are facing increasing policing and crackdown.
According to RFA, most of Hong Kong's opposition lawmakers are either in jail or have fled overseas since the national security law crackdown began. (ANI)