Pro-democracy party says it will stay in district council despite oath-taking requirement

2021.05.09
Pro democracy party says it will stay in district council despite oath taking requirement

District councilors from the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, or ADPL, will swear the oath that will allow them to keep their jobs, bucking the recent trend of resignations by Hong Kong democrats.

The party said on Saturday that its district councilors would comply with the government’s upcoming oath-taking requirement and that the decision was made after consulting with the affected councilors, district officers, supporters and constituents.

In March, the Hong Kong government introduced a bill that would require district councilors to swear allegiance to the city and vow to uphold the Basic Law. The bill will receive its second reading on Wednesday and is expected to be passed on the same day.

“In this unusual time, all ADPL members will hold firm to our beliefs and stand with the people of Hong Kong,” the party said in a statement, adding that it was committed to the principles of advocating democracy and improving people’s livelihoods.

ADPL’s acting Chairperson Yeung Yuk said the party decided to go along with the government’s requirement for fear of losing its platform to serve the public. The party did not want to “lose opportunities to voice its concerns,” he told Apple Daily.

The government should stop its political reprisals against pro-democracy district councilors once they take the oath, Yeung said. He admitted, however, that the government was likely to disqualify more democrats in the future, regardless of whether they fulfilled the oath-taking requirement.

ADPL won 19 district council seats in 2019 amid a landslide victory for the pro-democracy camp.

Sze Tak-loy and Kalvin Ho earlier resigned from their leadership positions in ADPL after being charged with subversion under the national security law. The offense carries a maximum penalty of life in jail.

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