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Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 13:08

Three lawmakers-elect fail to re-take oaths

By chinadailyasia.com
Three lawmakers-elect fail to re-take oaths
Lawmaker-elect Wong Ting-kwong (left) retakes oath at the Legislative Council on Oct 19, 2016. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Pro-establishment lawmakers staged a walkout Wednesday from the Legislative Council (LegCo) seeking apologies from lawmakers-elect Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the radical Youngspiration party for making insulting remarks about China last week during an oath-taking ceremony .

LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen adjourned the meeting after 15 minutes because there were not enough members to continue.

At the legislature's opening session a week ago, the duo had made remarks promoting Hong Kong separatism as also remarks insulting to the nation. The two had also appeared at last week’s ceremony presenting a banner declaring, that “Hong Kong is not China.”

Pro-establishment lawmakers staged a walkout seeking apologies from lawmakers-elect Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching

Leung, 30, and Yau, 25, were among five lawmakers expected to redo their swearing-in so they can take office. After two others had recited their oaths properly, pro-establishment lawmakers staged a walkout, blasting Leung and Yau for being disrespectful and for insulting China and demanded they apologize.

Lau Siu-lai, who made protracted pauses after each word of the oath last week, also failed to retake her oath today.

The government had taken a last minute decision Tuesday night to  seek a judicial review in High Court to bar Yau and Leung from re-taking oaths of office Wednesday. The court granted the government leave to move the petition while rejecting its plea for an injunction order to forbid the pair from re-taking their oaths.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said Wednesday the government’s decision to take Leung and Yau to court for their unseemly conduct was out of respect for the rule of law. He said the government had no intention of sabotaging the executive-legislative relationship.

Three lawmakers-elect fail to re-take oaths
LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen speaks during a press conference at Legislative Council on Oct 2016. (Parker Zheng/China Daily)

The decision to allow the pair to re-take their oaths was made by newly-elected Legco President Andrew Leung. Five lawmakers in all were expected to re-take the oath Wednesday morning. But only two - Wong Ting-kwong, who had accidentally missed the word China in his first attempt last week and Yiu chung-yim - who had deviated from the stipulated wording - could be sworn in Wednesday morning.

Yuen said the government was simply enforcing the Basic Law, as Article 104 stipulated that lawmakers needed to be sworn in before they could assume office.

Yuen also dismissed the possibility of requesting the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for a legal interpretation as he said the case could be dealt with within the purview of Hong Kong’s judicial system.

Three lawmakers-elect fail to re-take oaths
Pro-establishment lawmakers hold a press conference at the Legislative Council at Admiralty on Oct 19, 2016. (Parker Zheng /China Daily)

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