Released activist ready to run for Legco seat
People Power activist Wong Yeung-tat was greeted by dozens of supporters on his release from prison yesterday, after serving a three-week sentence for disrupting a public consultation forum last year.
Speaking outside the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, Wong said: 'Serving my term did not mean I admitted being guilty. I am still appealing against the conviction.'
Wong, who plans to contest the Legislative Council election in Kowloon West this year, was granted bail after vowing to appeal against his conviction, but decided to serve the sentence so he could run for election. Anyone with a pending prison sentence cannot be nominated as a candidate or be elected to Legco.
Wong, lawmaker 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung and three others were given prison sentences in March for disrupting a public consultation forum at the Science Museum in September on a government proposal to scrap Legco by-elections.
Leung, who is on bail pending his appeal against his conviction and two-month sentence, said he would also serve the jail term so he could qualify to contest the Legco election in September.
'I didn't go in earlier because I had to participate in the filibuster in Legco', said Leung, referring to efforts by radical pan-democrats to block the passage of a bill to curb by-elections. The bill's measures are less drastic than those that were the subject of the consultation at the Science Museum that Wong, Leung and the others disrupted.
He said he would probably serve his term after the annual June 4 Tiananmen memorial, when voting on the by-election bill will have finished.
He believes that, with time off for good behaviour, he can meet the deadline for election nominations if he goes to jail before June 20. The 14-day nomination period for the September 9 election is from July 18 to 31.
As he left prison, Wong was hailed by fellow lawmakers Wong Yuk-man and Albert Chan Wai-yip as well as supporters, who handed him yellow roses and birthday cards - Wong turns 33 on Tuesday. The crowd cheered as Wong's wife hugged him. She also swapped his black-framed spectacles for a white-framed pair and slipped his wedding ring back on his finger.