According to Hong Kong media reports, the Hong Kong government may arrange for members of the pro-democracy-dominated District Councils to take the oath of allegiance one by one next month, while also drawing up a “negative list” involving oath violations or oath invalidation. It is expected that at least 170 DC members may be disqualified (DQ disqualified).
Hong Kong’s pro-China Sing Tao Daily reported that the newspaper has learned that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam recently said that the oath-taking of members would have to wait until the situation stabilized due to the recent resignations of some DC members. According to the newspaper’s sources, the Hong Kong government plans to arrange for DC members to take the oath one by one in July. After that, according to the “negative list” of the oath ordinance to determine whether the oath is invalid or breach of oath.
The report said the “negative list” drawn up by the authorities includes at least three kinds of activities related to the democratic Legislative Council primary election. The first is participation in the 2020 “35+ primary election of the democratic camp. It is expected that all DC members in the primary election list will be DQ; second, they have lent their offices as polling stations for the primary election, and it is believed that the most DC members in this category. The third is the DC members who have signed the protesters’ position statement of “no regrets and firm resistance”. As for whether DC members who have “Restoration of Hong Kong: A Revolution in Time” as their political platform will be included in the “negative list”, the source said it is still under study.
According to a rough calculation by Sing Tao Daily, at least 170 DC members will be DQ’d for this reason, including 11 DC chairmen and 7 DC vice-chairmen. In terms of political parties, the Civic Party and the New Democratic Alliance, which signed the “No Regrets” statement, will be DQ’d, and 52 members of the Democratic Party will be put on the “negative list” for providing their offices as polling stations.
The report also said that Sing Tao Daily has checked the list of those who participated in the primary election and signed the declaration, as well as the primary election polling stations listed by HKUPOP for comprehensive statistics. The preliminary results are that 28 incumbent DC members have participated or coordinated the primary election, about 137 DC members have lent their offices as polling stations for the primary election, and 43 DC members have signed the “No Regrets” declaration. Some DC members are involved in repeating the acts listed in the “negative list”, and some DC members are currently detained pending court hearings.
Currently, there are more than 400 DC members in this term. The pro-democracy camp won the 2019 District Council election with 389 seats, or 85 percent, dominating 17 of the 18 districts.
A report in Sing Tao Daily said that if the government disqualifies the members according to the negative list of acts concerning the three primary elections, and subtracts the 44 democrats who have resigned or been DQ’d as shown on the DC website, it is estimated that only 170-odd seats will be left for the democratic camp DC members.
The United Morning Post said that Liu Zhaojia, vice president of the National Association for the Study of Hong Kong and Macau, analyzed in an interview that further targeting of the pan-democrats by the authorities will arouse the discontent of the pan-democratic camp, and it cannot be ruled out that some pan-democrats will make some small moves to express their discontent, but it is believed that there will not be a large-scale protest. Because social movements need huge funds and time to prepare, and the current political atmosphere in Hong Kong is not suitable for the outbreak of large-scale protests.
Lau Siu-kai also believes that the Beijing authorities no longer care whether the incident will weaken the pan-democrats’ willingness to participate in the Legislative Council election, and the most important thing for Beijing is to establish the rule of “patriots ruling Hong Kong”.