October 18, 2016 / 4:15 PM / a year ago

Hong Kong government fails in court bid to block pro-independence lawmakers from taking office

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HONG KONG, Oct 18 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong government failed in a unprecendented legal attempt on Tuesday night to block the swearing-in of two newly elected lawmakers seeking to push for independence for the autonomous region.

High Court Judge Thomas Au rejected the government’s last-ditch request for a delay to mount a judicial review before the two lawmakers re-take their oath of office at Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on Wednesday.

Yau Wai-ching, aged 25, and Baggio Leung, 30, were initially barred last week by legislative authorities after pledging their allegiance to “Hong Kong nation” and displaying a “Hong Kong is not China” banner when they first attempted to take office.

The oath-taking by the duo is an early test of their determination to push a radical agenda into mainstream Hong Kong politics, as well as signalling the depth of the pro-Beijing establishment’s anger at their rise.

Reporting by Venus Wu, Writing by Greg Torode, Editing by Angus MacSwan

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