LegCo gazettes vacancies after oath-taking verdict 1.9 million HK dollar
The Legislative Council on Monday gazetted two vacancies arising from the disqualifications of two former legislators-elect whose appeal against the disqualification was rejected by the Court of Appeal.
The two seats were held by the separatist pair, Sixtus Leung Chung-hang, from New Territories East, and Yau Wai-Ching, from Kowloon West.
Meanwhile, the legislature will start its refunding procedures, asking the pair to repay all their remuneration and operating funds. LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the LegCo Secretariat will send a letter to the pair shortly about this.
According to LegCo documents, the pair has to each refund a monthly remuneration of HK$95,180 and a total of HK$834,393 in operating funds they had each been advanced, which amounts to a total of HK$1.9 million.
The LegCo Commission told reporters the pair must repay remuneration and operating funds no later than Dec 19.
According to the latest interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law adopted in early November by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC), the nation’s top legislature, “no public office shall be assumed, no corresponding powers and functions shall be exercised, and no corresponding entitlements shall be enjoyed by anyone who fails to lawfully and validly take the oath or who declines to take the oath”.
The two were disqualified from public office on Nov 15 by the High Court following a judicial review which the government launched.
The High Court ruled that the two violated the Basic Law by refusing to follow the stipulated oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony on Oct 12. The pair hurled insults at the nation by corrupting the official oath with their own politically charged wording and presented a banner advocating their separatist position.
On Nov 30, the Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s decision that the two seats be held vacant, after finding that there was no legal basis for the two to “retake” the oath.
According to the Legislative Council Ordinance, the legislature is required to gazette council vacancies within 21 days after a vacancy occurs.
The government earlier said that once a vacancy is gazetted, a by-election will follow within four to six months.
Currently, four other lawmakers face possible disqualification in a separate judicial review. All four allegedly altered the official wording of the oaths during the Oct 12 swearing-in ceremony.
total amount of remunerations and operating funds the two disqualified lawmakers-elect have to return to the Legislative Council