A district councilor of Hong Kong Island swears his allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and its Basic Law during a ceremony at North Point Community Hall on Sept 10, 2021. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVT)
HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government has disqualified seven Hong Kong Island district councilors after ruling that the oaths they had sworn during an oath-taking ceremony last week were invalid.
The first batch of 24 District Council members swore an oath of allegiance to the special administrative region and its Basic Law at a ceremony on Friday.
A government spokesman stressed that the oath-taking is legally binding and the oath-taker must sincerely believe in and strictly abide by the relevant oath prescribed by law
Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui Ying-wai, who administered the oath-taking, determined on that day that the oaths taken by 17 were valid.
“As the oath administrator had questions about the validity of the oaths taken by the other seven DC members, letters were issued to the DC members concerned on September 10 to require them to provide additional information,” a spokesman for the government said in a statement on Wednesday.
After considering the written replies from the seven members and all relevant information, Tsui determined that the oaths taken by them were invalid.
The seven are Wan Chai district councilors Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying and Leung Pak-kin, Eastern district councilors Wei Siu-lik, So Yat-hang, Chan Wing-tai, and Lai Tsz-yan, and Southern district councilor Michael Pang Cheuk-kei.
The spokesman said if the oath taken is determined as invalid, no arrangement should be made for retaking the oath. The seven members should, therefore, vacate their office.
The spokesman stressed that the oath-taking is legally binding and the oath-taker must sincerely believe in and strictly abide by the relevant oath prescribed by law.
Hong Kong’s legislature passed a bill in May requiring district councilors to take the oath. The city’s National Security Law also requires those holding public office to take the oath to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the city.
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