“The oath cannot be taken an unlimited number of times,” says newly elected LegCo president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen.
Leung, of the pro-Beijing Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, said he advised the three lawmakers-elect to take the oath solemnly according to the law during the next LegCo session next Wednesday. “I met with the three [on Thursday] and asked them sincerely to thoroughly prepare for the oath taking ceremony,” Leung added.
When asked what could happen should the three incoming lawmakers continuously fail to be sworn into LegCo, Leung said “the law states ‘removal’, but I would have to consult the legal advisers on how this procedure would be carried out. I certainly do not hope I would have to take this step.”
The pro-Beijing DAB party issued a statement on Thursday condemning the oath of lawmakers-elect Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang of Youngspiration for “damaging the dignity of the Legislative Council, and offending the entire Chinese population of which included Hongkongers.” They demanded the two to retract what they have said and issue a public apology.
The government also issued a statement on Thursday condemning the incoming lawmakers for having “harmed the feelings of our compatriots.” Andrew Leung said “I think this is appropriate because this is not only a LegCo matter, this is a matter that affects the whole of Hong Kong.”
Baggio Leung, however, said he found it inappropriate. “The administration should not interfere with matters of the legislature,” he said. He added that the government should beware of their choice of words, and should not damage the relationship between the administration and the legislature.
According to Section 21 of the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance, any person who declines or neglects to take an oath duly requested shall vacate the office if the person has already entered the office, or be disqualified from taking office if the person has yet to enter the office.