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Thursday, December 1, 2016, 14:36

LegCo set to gazette seat vacancies Monday

By chinadailyasia.com

LegCo set to gazette seat vacancies Monday
Yau Wai-ching (right) and Leung Chung-hang meet the media outside H igh C ourt on Nov 15, 2016. (Roy Liu/China Daily)

HONG KONG - The Legislative Council plans to make formal announcement next Monday at the earliest to declare two vacant Legislative Council seats, following the disqualification of two elected members who abused the oath of office.

LegCo Ordinance requires that the LegCo needs to gazette its vacancies within 21 days after the decision by the Court of First Instance

LegCo president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen made the announcement on Thursday, a day after the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeals of Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching against their disqualification as lawmakers.

The pair was disqualified by the lower court on Nov 15 for violating the Basic Law after they refused to follow the stipulated wording of the oath of office while being sworn in on Oct 12. During the original swearing-in, they purposefully interpolated the official wording of the oath with wording intended to insult China, while displaying a banner declaring "Hong Kong is not China".

Leung held that since the pair didn’t file an application for leave to go to the Court of Final Appeal on Thursday, the LegCo will prepare for gazette the vacancies on Friday.

The current practice, under the Legislative Council Ordinance, requires that the LegCo needs to gazette its vacancies within 21 days after the decision by the Court of First Instance. In this case, the deadline will be Tuesday.

The government will, then, arrange for a by-election within four to six months.

The pair will also be sought to repay HK$1.86 million in funding they were allocated as salaries and operation funds to set up their office and hire assistants.

Leung said LegCo will deal with that after the gazette.

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