Hong Kong's High Court on Tuesday disqualified two pro-independence lawmakers over their oath-taking antics last month, prompting the pair to vow to appeal at all costs and plunging the city deeper into political uncertainty.
Far from ending the row, the ruling sets the stage for more disputes, with questions as to whether the pair can fight to retain their newly won Legislative Council membership through further legal battles, and whether and when by-elections can be held to fill their vacated seats.
The ruling came a week after Beijing intervened by interpreting the city's mini-constitution to insist oath taking be conducted sincerely and accurately, but the judge claimed he was unaffected by that in arriving at his conclusion.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who took the unprecedented step of filing the lawsuit to have the pair disqualified, said the government's next step would depend on whether the duo would appeal.
Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching promptly vowed to appeal all the way to the city's top court if necessary after the judge decided they had "declined" to take their oaths "faithfully and truthfully".