Legislative Council oath-taking saga

Veteran Hong Kong lawmaker ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung hints he will file appeal for ousted legislators

As he awaits decision on legal aid, he says court bid would address issues relating to disqualification of himself and three others

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 11:07pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 11:07pm

Four Hong Kong opposition lawmakers recently ousted from their positions for improper oath-taking have dropped strong hints that veteran lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung will be the one among them to file a court appeal over the disqualifications.

Leung, who has represented the New Territories East since 2004, stopped short of confirming the decision and said he was “still inclined” to lodge an appeal in court. He added that he had submitted his application for legal aid but leave had yet to be approved.

“The problems regarding our seats would not be resolved with only one ... appeal, but at least the legal issues surrounding the disqualification would be addressed in court,” Leung said.

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The High Court earlier this month disqualified him and three others – Lau Siu-lai, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Edward Yiu Chung-yim – from their Legislative Council seats for improper oath-taking. Following the judgment, they said the option to appeal was still on the table but they worried about the prospect of massive legal fees.

On Monday, Yiu and Law argued just one appeal from the four may be enough. “We haven’t started discussing yet ... one appeal may actually suffice ... to guarantee that under law we can continue pursuing [recourse],” Yiu said.

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An appeal needs to be made within 21 days of the court judgment. Beyond that, Legco will announce the vacancies and arrange a by-election.

Law said the four would make a strategic decision together. Their plan will also depend on the appeals of two other disqualified lawmakers – Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching – who are taking their case to the top court next month.

Meanwhile, Yiu, who held his surveying and planning seat for just nine months, may run again for a seat in the functional constituency, but hinted that he would be open to running for a directly elected seat in a geographical constituency.

“It’s something that needs thinking. We’ll have to discuss whether there are other better candidates. But the goal is to win [as many seats] as possible [for the pan-democratic bloc],” he added.

Yiu also did not feel the nine months were wasted as he had questioned the government on controversial issues such as the Wang Chau development and the Kai Tak sports hub project. “We demonstrated to the public that ... it was possible to effectively monitor the government better.”