- Ruling comes after protests on Sunday
- Beijing uses rarely invoked power
Critics -- including protesters who poured onto the city's streets Sunday -- say the decision undermines Hong Kong's own legal system and further erodes promises of autonomy made before the former British colony was returned to China in 1997.
The two lawmakers, Sixtus "Baggio" Leung and Yau Wai-ching, had their oaths of allegiance rejected
after inserting curse words and waving a flag bearing the words "Hong Kong is not China."
China's top ruling body, invoking a rarely used power, said Monday that anyone who refuses to read the oath should be disqualified from holding office.
"Reading the vows in any dishonest, ungraceful manner is also a refusal to the oath, and it shall be void," the ruling said, according to state news agency Xinhua.
Leung and Yau were among several young politicians elected in a September vote
that attracted record turnout, who favor greater autonomy or even independence for Hong Kong
Their right to retake their oaths is also being challenged by the Hong Kong government in local courts.
Hong Kong's leader, CY Leung, said Monday that he would implement Beijing's decision.
Three other young pro-democracy lawmakers, elected at the same time as Yau and Leung, accused Beijing of "exploiting the controversy surrounding (the oaths) to trample on the Hong Kong legal system and the political rights of the people of Hong Kong."
Hong Kong's mini-constitution, the Basic Law, "no longer protects the democratic rights of Hong Kongers," Nathan Law, Lau Siu Lai and Eddie Chu said in a joint statement.