Experts lock horns on whether serving officials will have to be sworn in again Experts on the Basic Law are divided over whether incumbent ministers and executive councillors should be sworn in again along with the new chief executive. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is expected to fly to Beijing next week to meet Premier Wen Jiabao, who will present him with the State Council's appointment letter installing him as chief executive. Government sources said state leaders were unlikely to come to Hong Kong to attend a swearing-in ceremony for Mr Tsang because he would only serve out the rest of Tung Chee-hwa's term. Article 104 of the Basic Law states that when assuming office, the chief executive, principal officials and executive councillors must swear to uphold the mini-constitution and swear allegiance to the special administrative region. On March 4, 2002, the then-premier Zhu Rongji signed a State Council order appointing Tung Chee-hwa as the second chief executive, four days after he was returned unopposed. On March 7, Mr Tung received an appointment letter for his second term from Mr Zhu in Beijing. Then-president Jiang Zemin presided over the swearing-in of Mr Tung as Hong Kong's second chief executive during the ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the handover held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. Under the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance, a newly elected chief executive shall take the oath before a representative of the central government. But the law does not specify where the swearing-in ceremony should take place. The ordinance also states that principal officials and executive councillors shall take their relevant oaths. But it is unclear on incumbent ministers and executive councillors. Xu Chongde , a mainland drafter of the Basic Law, said Mr Tsang had to be sworn in. 'But the incumbent principal officials and Exco numbers would not have to swear in again because the five-year term of the current administration has not expired,' Professor Xu said. Another mainland legal expert said there was no need for serving ministers to take their oaths again because 'we are not talking about changing the whole administration'. But Raymond Wu Wai-yung, a Hong Kong member of the Basic Law Committee, disagreed. 'There was an understanding between Mr Tung and his cabinet members that they would act in unison. Now that Mr Tung has stepped down, the ministers and Exco members he appointed should take the relevant oaths again,' he said.