This is all getting confusing. And I don’t just mean Carrie’s genius lateral-thinking breakthrough that Beijing must end ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in order to save it.
One day Beijing announces the banishment of non-patriots (ie pan-democrats and critics) from Hong Kong elections and public bodies. The next day, the local administration sends the legislature a bill to expand and tighten oath-taking requirements for District Council members (ie to disqualify pan-dems). The former measures would surely cover the latter anyway. It’s hard to tell whether the two moves are badly coordinated or this is some Leninist psycho’s idea of exquisite timing. Perhaps, just as capitalists believe you can never have too much money, Communists believe you can never have too much purging.
Things that will get your District Council member disqualified are listed here. Some are obvious general no-nos under the NatSec regime. Others are very specific, like ‘indiscriminately objecting to the government’s motion’ or ‘making use of an election to organize a “de-facto referendum” to oppose the government’. Both these reflect the CCP’s paranoia about the pan-dems’ primary elections – and planned subsequent drive to dominate LegCo – last year.
Also, Mainland and Constitutional Affairs Secretary Erick Tsang says you can be disqualified for failing to (eeeww) love the leadership of the Communist Party. Truly, madly, deeply. It’s got to be ‘holistic’, OK? Not sure how the enforcers will check this. Maybe Mainland scientists have devised some sort of medical test (I’m betting an anal swab) that detects hatred of the Politburo.