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Thursday, September 14, 2017, 22:18
Legislative Council by-election scheduled for March
By Willa Wu
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 22:18 By Willa Wu

This undated photo shows lawmakers attending a meeting in the Legislative Council chamber in Hong Kong. (PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

The Electoral Affairs Commission on Thursday said Legislative Council by-elections will be held on March 11 next year to fill seats vacated after four lawmakers were disqualified for violating the legal requirements of oath-taking when swearing in.

The seats include three from geographical constituencies – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East

The seats include three from geographical constituencies – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East. They were previously held by Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung Chung-hang, respectively. 

The other seat is in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency, which was originally taken by Edward Yiu Chung-yim. 

The commission also noted in its written statement that the nomination period for the by-election will be published in the Government Gazette soon.

According to the electoral laws, the nomination period of the LegCo by-election must not last less than 14 days or more than 21 days, and must end not less than 28 days and not more than 42 days before the polling day.

A commission spokesman said the time for polling was set after taking into consideration manpower resources, procurement of venues for polling and counting votes, public holidays and proper use of public money. 

The four disqualified lawmakers were all ruled by the High Court to have violated the Basic Law of and the local ordinance concerning the oath-taking process when assuming office. 

Yau and Leung were disqualified by the High Court in November last year for using derogatory language insulting the country. The pair’s final appeal against their disqualification was rejected by the Court of Final Appeal in August. 

In July, the High Court disqualified Law and Yiu as LegCo members as Yiu had added words to his oath and Law changed his tone when pledging allegiance to China to make it sound like a question.

Law is now almost one month into the eight-month jail term he received in August after being convicted of inciting others to storm into the forecourt of the east wing of the government headquarters in 2014.

Besides the four, LegCo has also gazetted that two seats, previously held by Leung Kwok-hung and Lau Siu-lai, were vacant. The pair was disqualified as Leung chanted political slogans and Lau deliberately read her oath with a six-second interval after each word during the swearing-in ceremony.

Leung and Lau appealed against their disqualifications on Monday. 

READ MORE: Carrie Lam calls for LegCo by-elections as soon as possible

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