Newly elected LegCo president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen has rejected the oath delivered by pro-democracy independent lawmaker Lau Siu-lai at the legislature last Wednesday.
Lau received a notice on Tuesday from Leung which stated that her pledge was invalid.
“The conduct of Ms Lau’s oath-taking, objectively assessed, has shown that she was not serious about the affirmation and had no intention to be bound by it,” the notice read.
During the swearing-in ceremony last Wednesday, Lau read a revised version of the oath on the first attempt. When the LegCo secretary-general asked her to try again, Lau read the correct oath, albeit in slow motion. The reading took around ten minutes.
Leung said if lawmakers proposed in writing to him that they wished to take their oaths again, he would be happy to allow them to do so on Wednesday.
“The most important thing is that I make an objective judgement as to whether they are following the law to take their oath, and ensure the administrator understands that they take the oath seriously,” Leung said. “I will employ these two standards tomorrow.”
Lawmakers who decline to take their oaths cannot assume office. Leung said that much will depend on how the government will enforce the law after it has been determined whether any lawmakers have declined.
Leung said the chance that lawmakers would have another opportunity after Wednesday to re-take their pledge was “not high”.
Leung once again said that the chances for lawmakers to retake oaths are not unlimited. However, Leung did not rule out further opportunities for lawmakers to take oaths after this Wednesday.
Lau was among several lawmakers who have been asked to retake their oaths this Wednesday including “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration and Edward Yiu Chung-yim, who protested during their swearing-in session. Wong Ting-kwong of the pro-Beijing DAB party omitted one instance of the phrase “Hong Kong” from his oath and requested to re-take it.
Yiu and Wong have already submitted a written requests and will both be sworn in again on Wednesday. Baggio Leung and Yau have still yet to submit a request.
Additional reporting by Kris Cheng.