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Hong Kong outlines plan to disqualify opponents from holding office

Proposal follows Beijing official's remark that city must be run by 'patriots'

Hong Kong Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang, center, speaks at a news conference on Tuesday to announce changes to election and oath-taking rules.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong politicians will be ousted from public office and barred from running in elections for five years if they fail to properly take new oaths of office and pledge loyalty to Beijing and the local government, according to a proposal marking the beginning of an electoral overhaul in the city.

The planned legislation, approved by Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her de facto cabinet on Tuesday, will require all public officers, including neighborhood-level district councilors, to take a pledge of allegiance. Lam or her appointed officials will monitor the oath-taking procedures.

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