Former pro-democracy lawmaker Nathan Law has decided not to file an appeal against his disqualification owing to high legal costs.
In a statement issued via his party Demosisto, Law said he supports the appeals of fellow ousted lawmakers “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung and Lau Siu-lai, since their appeals may help the pro-democracy camp regain lost seats by forcing separate by-elections for each of the two vacant seats in their constituencies. The government may have to arrange elections for two previously disqualified lawmakers first.
The other disqualified lawmaker, Edward Yiu, is expected to give up appealing and consider running for a direct election seat in the by-election.
“The Chinese Communist Party is working hard to limit the space for progressive democrats – its effectiveness can be seen after the disqualifications and mass arrests,” read the statement from Law, who is in jail for a conviction over a protest that kickstarted the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy demonstrations.
“The law has been used as a tool to suppress dissidents – the core foundations of many political parties and groups have been damaged. How do we make breakthroughs in such a difficult situation? Maybe we have to continue doing our work bravely, without fear, without self-pity, without cynicism – it is a good solution,” he added.
“There is no standard answer but we can only try, even if we get hurt, to find the path for Hong Kong people.”
Leung and Lau submitted their appeal applications on Monday afternoon, the deadline.
Leung thanked Hongkongers for supporting him with their donations.
“We have confidence in the public, but no confidence in the regime,” he said as he urged people to donate to the Justice Defend Fund, which supports Lau’s appeal costs.
Leung said he had a certain level of confidence in winning the appeal after consulting lawyers, but noted they would be powerless if the courts cannot defend justice.
He said he was not sure whether he will run in the by-elections.
Derek Lam, a Demosisto member, said the party will consider sending a candidate to run in the by-election for Law’s constituency, but it has yet to discuss with other pro-democracy lawmakers.