Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Impossible to foresee which tools will be used by gov’t to disqualify lawmakers, Eddie Chu says

Lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick has told HKFP that it is impossible to foresee which tools will be used by the government in their efforts to disqualify legislators, as more legal challenges to lawmakers’ oaths gather pace.

The government has said that it is planning to lodge a legal challenge against lawmaker Lau Siu-lai’s “slow-motion” pledge of allegiance, which took almost ten minutes. She later said on social media that the purpose was to deprive the pledge of its meaning by reading out each word in isolation.

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Eddie Chu. Photo: Eddie Chu, via Facebook.

In the case of Chu, he added phrases such as “tyranny will die” after reading the oath normally.

Lau advocates the concept of self-determination, whereby Hong Kong people should decide their own future. Chu and two other lawmakers Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Edward Yiu Chung-yim also promote the concept.

On Wednesday, Chinese-language Ming Pao newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying that the government was looking into the oaths of Yiu and Law with a view to filing legal challenges against them. Chu was not mentioned, though the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po newspaper also published a special report on Wednesday stating that Yiu may be challenged after Lau’s case is concluded.

Chu told HKFP that he did not foresee any risk of being disqualified when he took the oath.

“I knew that my supporters did not expect me to make any special performance, and – also – I was too lazy to think of [different ways of taking the oath],” he said. “I did not think that it was a special occasion – that it would become ground zero for everything.”

“They have nothing really to challenge me.”

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Pro-independence activists Yau Wai-ching (L) and Baggio Leung meets journalists outside the High Court after the court disqualified them from taking office as lawmakers in Hong Kong, China November 15, 2016. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip.

Chu said that – since the disqualification of localist Edward Leung Tin-kei as a candidate – “anything could happen.”

“Legal tools are everywhere, look at the Hong Kong laws, the Basic Law, any item from the armory can kill,” he said, adding that lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung is also facing prosecution over a donation. “I expected it will be an abnormal LegCo term. They can attack you at any time.”

“Say they have ten guns – you can’t study all the possible moves with ten guns before making a judgment in order to be careful: ‘hey be careful when you take the oath!’ – you wouldn’t have thought like that,” he said.

He added that he believed that, even though the public may be unable to launch a huge campaign in response to the potential disqualifications of Lau and Yiu, they would be pro-active during potential by-elections in order to voice their anger.

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Impossible to foresee which tools will be used by gov't to disqualify lawmakers, Eddie Chu says