HONG KONG (XINHUA, NYTIMES) - Beijing's decision on the continuing discharge of duties by Hong Kong's sixth Legislative Council (LegCo) is constitutional, legitimate and reasonable, a senior Hong Kong government official said on Sunday (Aug 16).
"This decision provides a constitutional basis and a solid legal foundation for the normal administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the orderly operation of Hong Kong society," Mr Matthew Cheung, Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration, said in a blogpost.
"Its authority and necessity are beyond doubt," he added.
The decision is conducive to social stability in Hong Kong and allows the whole society to concentrate on fighting the epidemic, restoring the economy and improving people's livelihood, Mr Cheung said.
The decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, a top legislative committee in Beijing, means that the four pro-democracy lawmakers are likely to retain their seats in Hong Kong's legislature for the rest of an extended term despite being barred from seeking re-election.
The four are among 12 pro-democracy candidates disqualified in late July from running in the next LegCo election. Officials cited grounds for disqualification that included objecting to the national security law.
On Sunday, Mr Cheung said that as Hong Kong is facing unprecedented difficulties and challenges, the LegCo, as a place to seek the greatest consensus through rational communication, bears great responsibility.
Members of the LegCo should put aside differences and work for the welfare of the public, he said.