Four Hong Kong lawmakers thrown out for oath antics

HONG KONG (China Daily/ANN) - They are the second group of legislators to be disqualified for not taking the oath properly after two separatist lawmakers were ousted last November.

Hong Kong's High Court has thrown four lawmakers out of the Legislative Council for violating the legal requirements of oath-taking when being sworn in.

In a written judgment handed down on Friday, Court of First Instance Judge Thomas Au Hing-cheung, said the oaths by the four lawmakers – Leung Kwok-hung, Edward Yiu Chung-yim, Lau Siu-lai and Law Kwun-chung – didn't follow the strict wording and solemnity as requested by the law. Therefore, the court ordered the four to be disqualified with immediate effect. Their Legislative Council membership was deemed invalid from Oct 12, 2016.

The four lawmakers were found to have deviated from the statutory wording of the oath, which amounted to an unlawful swearing-in according to the National People's Congress Standing Committee’s interpretation of the Basic Law.

The court was told that during the solemn swearing-in, Leung was chanting political slogans and Yiu added words into his oath.

Lau read her oath at a six-second interval deliberately, as she admitted, to profane the oath. Law changed his tone when pledging allegiance to China to make it sound like a question.

The judicial review to challenge the eligibility of the four was moved by former chief executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung in December.

In November, two lawmakers were disqualified after they advocated for independence and made anti-China remarks during the swearing-in in October. Outside the courtroom on Friday, a group of Hong Kong people applauded the court’s decision.

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