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Wong Yuk-man vows more surprises when he retakes oath of office

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 October, 2012, 3:17am
 

People Power lawmaker Wong Yuk-man yesterday promised more tricks after getting permission to retake the Legco oath of office that he had coughed through.

Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing approved Wong's request to take his oath of office again next Wednesday after the rebel lawman apparently backed down on his controversial behaviour during this week's swearing-in ceremony.

However, while Tsang hinted that he would try to make sure the People Power legislator finished his oath properly next time, Wong told the South China Morning Post he had another surprise in store.

"I will play other tricks, such as reading [parts of] it in loud and lowered voices," Wong said, "I'm pledging allegiance to the people, and not recognising your republic."

Wong will be the first lawmaker since the handover to take his oath of office twice because a first oath was considered invalid.

Wong punctuated his loyalty pledge on Wednesday with coughs, skipping such words as "Republic" and "Special Administrative Region". The result went: "I swear that, being a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (cough), of the People (cough) of China, I will … bear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, of the People (cough) of China."

At the time, he insisted he had completed the oath, saying: "Of course I finished it … sometimes you will cough while you are reading." However, after seeking legal advice, Tsang confirmed yesterday that Wong's oath could lead to a legal challenge.

"After listening to Wong's oath, and reading the legal advice and documents, I think I could not confirm that Wong had finished taking his oath legally on October 10," Tsang said. He added that he had received a letter from Wong that same day. "He wished to take his oath again at our next plenary session, and I have approved his request."

As the legality of his oath was debated, Wong said the Legco secretariat should share the blame because its secretary general, Kenneth Chen Wei-on, oversaw the oath-taking.

Tsang said that while Wong could not attend Legco meetings until he retook the oath, it should not affect his bid to retain the chairmanship of the panel on information technology and broadcasting, as candidates did not need to attend Tuesday's vote.

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