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Saturday, November 26, 2016, 00:16

Motion moved to censure radical lawmaker

By Luis Liu

HONG KONG - A motion was moved in the Legislative Council on Friday to censure radical lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai for his bad behavior in inverting the national and Hong Kong SAR flags in the legislative chamber last month.

Cheng could lose his seat if two-thirds of legislators present at the LegCo meeting on Dec 14 vote to endorse the motion.

The motion was moved by legislator Paul Tse Wai-chun as Cheng inverted a number of flags after a group of lawmakers walked out of the LegCo chamber on Oct 19 to stop the two separatist lawmakers-elect, who were involved in the oath-taking controversy the week before, from retaking the oath.

At a meeting of LegCo's House Committee on Friday afternoon, Tse demanded a motion be put forward to censure Cheng under Article 79(7) of the Basic Law, for a LegCo member’s bad behavior or breach of the oath under Article 104 of the Basic Law. Article 104 requires oath-takers to swear allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR and the Basic Law before assuming office.

Tse said that being a lawmaker in Hong Kong, Cheng's behavior insulted the national and SAR flags and disrespected the country.

The national flag is of great importance to a nation, Tse argued. Anyone who desecrates the national flag in public might face legal penalties in most places around the world.

Such a motion to disqualify a legislator requires a two-thirds majority vote of members present. Tse said he would try to lobby for votes from moderate opposition legislators.

Legislator Gary Chan Hak-kan said Cheng's behavior was naive and insulting. This may have violated the country's laws on the national flag. He questioned whether Cheng should occupy the seat as he had showed a strong antipathy to the national flag.

As other “pan-democrats” were opposed to the motion and had questioned the necessity of such a move, legislator and lawyer Junius Ho Kwan-yiu condemned them for condoning such poor conduct in LegCo.
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