Legislative Council oath-taking saga

Legal bid mounted against two more Hong Kong pan-democrat lawmakers

Resident of Lai King is targeting Eddie Chu and Cheng Chung-tai, who were elected last year from New Territories West constituency

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 5:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 March, 2017, 9:50pm

Two pan-democrats are facing fresh legal bids to unseat them from the Legislative Council.

The civil actions are targeting “king of votes” Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, who won the largest number of votes in the Legco polls in September last year, and university lecturer Cheng Chung-tai from Civic Passion. They were both returned from New Territories West constituency.

The actions were taken by law firm Chin and Associates on behalf of Lo King-yeung, who lives in Lai King, which is part of the constituency.

The High Court writs allege that Chu failed to be sworn in “sincerely, solemnly, accurately and completely” under the city’s Oaths and Declarations Ordinance and the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, when he shouted “democratic self-determination” and “die tyranny” when he took his Legco oath.

Cheng is also accused of failing to meet legal requirements by shouting slogans including “resistance movement” and “the constitution should be made by all the people” when he took his oath.

The High Court is being asked to disqualify the pair and issue an injunction restraining them from acting as lawmakers.

The move came as four other pan-democratic lawmakers - former Occupy student leader Nathan Law Kwun-chung, university professor Edward Yiu Chung-yim, lecturer Lau Siu-lai and veteran activist “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung – are fighting a government bid to disqualify them.

The case was adjourned pending further government arguments after lawyers for the four argued they were facing selective prosecution because seven others lawmakers, including Chu and Cheng, had also added words to their oaths.

The lawyers urged the court to halt the case on the grounds of abuse of process.

The oath-taking saga began in Ocober last year when two pro-independence lawmakers-elect – Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching – pledged allegiance to “the Hong Kong nation” and referred to the country as “Chee-na” – a variation of the derogatory “Shina” used by Japan for China during the second world war.

The controversy prompted the government to launch a legal challenge against them and Beijing to issue an interpretation of the Basic Law on the taking of oaths.

The duo, from Youngspiration, have since been disqualified and are in the process of taking their case to the Court of Final Appeal.

Members of the public issued various lawsuits towards the end of last year against both pan-democratic and pro-establishment lawmakers.

Chu and Cheng featured as defendants in two separate legal bids mounted by taxi driver Robin Cheng and Ricky Chan Ka-wai, a member of pro-Beijing group Voice of Loving Hong Kong.