Oath-taking for district councilors imminent, violators will be banned from elections for 5 yearsLocal | 23 Feb 2021 3:01 pm
Government officials are expected to announce details over the oath-taking for district councilors to pledge allegiance to the SAR today.
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Erick Tsang Kwok-wai, the Permanent Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Roy Tang, and the Deputy Law Draftsman of the Department of Justice, Lawrence Peng will hold a press conference today at 4pm on the Public Offices (Candidacy and Taking Up Offices)(Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2021.
It is expected that the officials will introduce a bill to amend the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance to require district councilors to pledge allegiance to the SAR and uphold the Basic Law, aligning with the interpretation made by China's top legislative body earlier.
The amendment bill is also expected to set out the requirements and arrangements for taking the oath as well as the legal consequences for those who take part in acts that are in breach of the oath.
According to reports, if councilors are disqualified for breaching the oath or said to have failed to pledge allegiance to the SAR and uphold the Basic Law, they will be handed a 5-year ban from running for public office.
The National People's Congress Standing Committee had previously made an interpretation to Article 104 of the Basic Law during the 2016 oath-taking saga that saw six lawmakers unseated.
It said a person assuming public office should take an oath to uphold the mini-constitution and pledge allegiance to Hong Kong.