Beijing, May 21 (EFE).- The obligation to take an oath of allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region came into effect Friday and will apply both to elected positions and candidates who want to participate in the elections of the semi-autonomous city.
The government reported in a Friday statement on its website that the new regulations “introduce the requirement to swear in the members of the District Councils, specify the requirements, improve the mechanisms to address the breach of oaths and introduce restrictions for participation in elections.”
According to the text, the regulation “ensures that elected officials understand their constitutional responsibilities, and guarantees that only a person who meets the fundamental requirement of defending the Basic Law (the city state’s constitution) and swearing fidelity to Hong Kong may hold public office.”
This mechanism is stipulated in Article 6 of the controversial National Security Law for Hong Kong that Beijing drafted and imposed last year, as a result of the anti-government mobilizations that took to the streets of the former British colony during the second half of 2019.
This law applies penalties of up to life imprisonment for cases of secession, terrorism or conspiracy with foreign forces, among others.
In March, during its annual meeting, China approved a reform of the Hong Kong electoral system that will allow a greater presence and control of Beijing in the institutions of the semi-autonomous region while making difficult the opposition’s options to take public office. EFE