Legislative Council elections 2016

Oath to uphold Hong Kong’s Basic Law will prove problematic for newly elected localists

Two lawmakers-elect have indicated they will find ways to amend the oath to show their disagreement with its terms

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 10:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 11:03am

At least two localists who won seats in the legislature have said they will come up with their own distinct ways of taking the oath next month.

Candidates who won in the general election will be sworn into office at the first Legislative Council meeting on October 12.

According to the law, Legco members are required to swear to uphold the Basic Law, which might be a sticky issue with the six localist lawmakers-elect.

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Youngspiration’s Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang, who is sympathetic towards the idea of Hong Kong independence, said he would wear some distinctive accessories and make symbolic gestures to show his disagreement with the oath.

“I would like to insert ‘I vow to you, Hong Kong People’ to my oath of office script,” he said.

Demosisto’s Nathan Law Kwun-chung, another legislator-elect who advocates self-determination for the city, said he would learn from legislators from other countries when taking his oath.

“When it comes to the parts that they don’t agree with, they might make some gestures to show the public that they were not sincere,” he said.

Back in 2004, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung was the first legislator to say additional lines, such as “vindicate June 4”, while he was being sworn in.

Meanwhile, Law and Leung said they would also filibuster, should they deem it necessary.

Leung said during a radio programme that rushing to occupy the Legco chairman’s seat was another way he would consider blocking the government, adding that he would try to enter the term “Hong Kong independence” for discussion in the chamber.

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“We will stick to our principles and there is no bottom line for our fighting method in the Legco,” he said.

The Demosisto leader told the Post that he was not afraid of physical confrontation in the legislature.

“But more importantly I think there should be greater coordination between the civil society and legislators,” he said. “If we only protest in the legislature, [the government] can simply resolve it by dragging the issue out.”

Democracy Groundwork’s Lau Siu-lai, another legislator-elect who is an advocate for self-determination, said in addition to filibustering, she would also move motions in the legislature on issues that suit her platform.

“By moving motions, on issues such as universal pension, it would lead greater public discussion,” she said.