HK Lawmakers Resign Over Democracy
In an effort to push for a more meaningful form of democracy for the former British colony of Hong Kong(HK), five elected members of the HK legislature have resigned. By resigning, they are forcing a by-election and are hoping that the public will support their action.
Since the former colony was repatriated to the Peoples' Republic of China(PRC), the chief executive has been appointed by a committee controlled by Beijing. While HK enjoys special status compared to the rest of China, it does not yet enjoy the full, participatory democracy that it was promised when the British left.
Chinese government officials have released statements condemning the ploy to force a by-election.
Earlier the Chinese government issued a statement labelling the "referendum" plan a blatant challenge to its authority.
It said the plan was not in line with the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution which forms the foundation for Hong Kong's separate legal system.
However Tanya Chan, a member of the Civic Party and one of the five lawmakers who resigned, dismissed claims that proponents of the resignations were calling for an "uprising."
"It's not a bloody uprising," she told the AFP news agency. "It's a rational and peaceful pursuit for real democracy."