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Legislative Council of Hong Kong

Hong Kong leader C.Y. Leung to skip Beijing economic seminar for court case on localist lawmakers’ Legco oaths, source says

Leung had been expected to lead a team of senior officials to attend the 20th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium, which opens on Thursday

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 October, 2016, 11:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 11:00am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has dropped plans to fly to Beijing to meet mainland officials at an annual conference on economic cooperation to spare time to handle the court case over the two localist lawmakers who spoiled their Legislative Council oaths, it is understood.

Leung had been expected to lead a team of senior officials to attend the 20th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium, which opens on Thursday.

But in a government announcement on Monday, it was disclosed that Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor Chan Ka-keung and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung would represent the Hong Kong government at the two-day event.

Hong Kong’s No 2 and No 3 officials, John Tsang Chun-wah and Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, will also be absent.

Angry crowd demands Youngspiration oath pair quit Hong Kong Legco

Leung has in recent years led senior officials to the annual event, except in 2014 when it was led by Lam, who is chief secretary.

Tsang, the financial secretary, has also previously attended the seminar, which was held in Hong Kong last year.

A spokesman for the Chief Executive’s Office said Leung needed to stay in Hong Kong to handle official business. But the spokesman would not specify the nature of that business.

However, a source familiar with the situation, referring to the court case involving the Youngspiration duo, said: “The chief executive decided to stay in Hong Kong because the proceedings on the judicial review will start on Thursday.”

The court is set to begin hearing the judicial review application, sought by the chief executive and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, which aims to disqualify the two localist lawmakers, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, from taking up their seats in Legco after they insulted China in their first oath-taking sessions.

The two officials have asked the court to rule that Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen had no right to give the pair a second chance to retake the oath.