16 more Hong Kong district councillors ousted over 'invalid' loyalty oaths

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Chinese and Hong Kong flags are hung at the Legislative Council. (Photo credit: Reuters)
Chinese and Hong Kong flags are hung at the Legislative Council. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Hong Kong, October 8 (ANI): Sixteen more local-level councillors in Hong Kong were ousted from office on Friday after the government deemed their oaths of allegiance to be "invalid", according to a media report.

With the fresh disqualifications, so far 33 councillors have been ousted from their elected positions since the start of the oath-taking arrangements, reported Hong Kong Free Press.

The 16 members -- who took their oaths of allegiance on Monday -- were among 50 councillors from neighbourhoods in the New Territories.

The government had asked them to provide more information by Thursday as authorities expressed "doubts" over their oaths' validity.

"After considering the written replies from the DC members concerned and all relevant information, the oath administrator, based on the principles laid down by the interpretation and the relevant legal provisions, determined that the oaths taken by 16 DC members were invalid," a statement read on Friday, referring to Beijing's interpretation of the Basic Law provision governing official oath-taking, according to Hong Kong Free Press.

Since the beginning of the oath-taking ceremonies, all councillors -- who were asked to submit "more information" -- have been ousted by the government.

Earlier this year, the government had announced the mandatory oath of allegiance for the city's local-level councillors.

The introduction of the oaths, and the ensuing rumours that salary and benefits will be recouped from up to 200 councillors who faced disqualification, prompted over 100 to resign ahead of the ceremonies, according to Hong Kong Free Press. (ANI)

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