The Hong Kong government amends its judicial review writ aimed at keeping Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching from taking their Legislative Council seats. (See a picture of the revised document.) The government is now asking the court to declare the Youngspiration duo’s offices vacant – making them non-members of the legislature.
Aside from having a ‘moving the goalposts’ feel about it, the revised writ escalates the Liaison Office/government’s obsessive and opportunistic persecution of the pair. Just when you thought the authorities couldn’t get any more extreme in their attempts to exploit the duo’s incorrect (plus ‘offensive’) oaths, they find a way to do it. There is no pretense now that this is an impartial process – Legco members have been allowed to re-take oaths before. This is setting attack dogs on two individuals who will not kowtow.
A request that the courts bar the two from the legislature is a blatant attack on the right of voters to elect representatives. (The perhaps enticing prospect of new elections for their seats, let alone other forms of backlash in Legco and elsewhere, is another matter.) It is also pushing the courts to take even bolder, more controversial, maybe unconstitutional, action. So it looks like the government is actually trying to goad the courts into rejecting the judicial review.
That would pave the way for an ‘interpretation’ by Beijing – a summary re-writing of part of the Basic Law to give it new, hitherto unheard-of, additional meaning. The outcome would be the banishment of those who advocate particular ideas and thoughts from political participation, while of course eroding the power of the local courts, not to say common sense.
Communist-style ‘rule by law’ and United Front mobs cheering. This is ugly to watch, yet much of the media bury this development in ‘Legco president U-turn’ stories. Maybe, after detailing Rurik Jutting’s videos, they wonder how much more readers can stomach.