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Legislative Council oath-taking saga

Legco set to announce vacant seats left by disqualified localists in preparation for by-election

Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen told the media that the clerk will start the procedure to publish the vacancies left by Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 12:21pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 1:06pm

The Legislative Council will declare two vacant seats as soon as Monday to pave the way for a by-election after two pro-independence lawmakers lost their court appeal against disqualification over the oath-taking saga.

Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen told the media on Thursday morning that the Legco clerk will start the procedure to publish the vacancies left by Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching in the Government Gazette.

“The court originally reserved time [on Thursday] to hear their application for leave to appeal, but they haven’t made an application,” Leung said. “So we will start the process now.”

Watch: Localist lawmakers lose their appeal

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal dismissed the pairs’ appeal against their disqualification, after they swore allegiance to a “Hong Kong nation” when taking their oaths last month. The three judges unanimously confirmed the applicability of Beijing’s “true and proper” interpretation of the Basic Law in the case.

The Legco clerk must publish a notice in the Gazette to declare the existence of a vacated Legco seat within 21 days “after becoming aware of the vacancy”. In this case the notice must be issued within 21 days of the lower court’s ruling – meaning the deadline will be next Tuesday.

After the notice is published, the Legco secretariat will begin chasing the two localists for the salary and expenses they claimed during the two months they were lawmakers. Each of them is facing a bill of HK$930,000. The decision to force them to repay the sum was made by the Legco Commission, which has a pro-Beijing membership majority.

As for the government’s plan to sue a third localist lawmaker, Lau Siu-lai, Leung said he had not yet been given notice of such action.