Disqualification verdict ‘deters improper oath’
LegCo president points out court decision to help stop abuse of swearing-in Leung welcomes new CE’s governance
The disqualification of four more lawmakers last month for improper oath-taking will serve as a strong deterrent and new faces joining the Legislative Council will take their oaths properly, LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said.
Leung said more lawmakers in the current-term LegCo messed around with their oaths than before because those who behaved in such a way in the past were not punished.
Many new faces joined LegCo in the 2016-20 term. Since they wanted to express their
Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwanyuen is impressed with the performance in governance of the new Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
Leung praised the overall political atmosphere which has improved since Lam assumed the post of CE.
“Since Lam has come into office, the government has become more proactive and the atmosphere has greatly improved. It is of course due to her initiative that the government has performed quite well,” he commented.
In over a month since Lam took office, many things have occurred. They include the disqualification of four lawmakers and the appointment of principal officials. The most recent is the proposed co-location plan for boundary controls at the West Kowloon views in extraordinary ways, they took their oaths in different ways, Leung told China Daily.
“As a couple of lawmakers were let off after doing tricks with the oath in previous years, the newcomers imitated them and so sparked the fiasco,” he said when asked whether the oaths were administered very loosely in the past.
Leung said the court ruling clearly showed the roles of the oath administrator and people who take the oath. While the administrator is responsible for the oath procedure, those who take the oath should be responsible for their own behavior. Legitimacy of the oaths is decided by the court, he added.
In fact, before the swearingin ceremony on Oct 12 last year, the government issued a statement; the LegCo Secretariat issued three statements to remind lawmakers-elect to follow the proper oath procedures and wording.
The latest pack of four dis- Station of the Hong Kong section of the Guangdong-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.
As Executive Council Convener Bernard Chan said, Lam previously acted like the chief operating officer of an enterprise and executed the policies. Now she is a chief executive who makes decisions and shoulders the responsibilities, the LegCo president said.
“We all know that the executive-legislative relations are nothing less than a pair of hands, while one hand does not clap,” Leung said. “We should all work for the welfare qualified lawmakers — Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Edward Yiu Chung-yim and Lau Siu-lai — argued that since the LegCo president let them retake the oaths, he should be responsible and they should not be required to reimburse the LegCo Secretariat.
“The responsibilities of the people who take and administer the oaths are very clear,” Leung responded. “If people have not taken the oath solemnly and sincerely, they should not shift the buck to the oath administrator and I will not tussle with them over this matter.”
Leung disclosed that the LegCo Commission is seeking legal advice on whether it should recover money paid to the four.
Since the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal both said one could only swear once and there is no second chance, they are immediately disqualified if they do not swear properly at the initial oath. of the 7 million-plus citizens as well economic development and people’s livelihood in Hong Kong.”
He urged the ‘ pan-democrats’ to be rational and pragmatic, instead of tumbling the government. At the same time, the government should listen more and accept some of their views to maintain better relations and for effective governance, he added.
Leung hopes t he “pandemocratic” lawmakers will take the summer recess to plan their actions when LegCo reconvenes in October. He hopes they will act in the best interests of society and
“They had acted as lawmakers, employed staff and incurred expenditure for almost a year. We need to be very careful with this as public funds are involved while LegCo is also subject to the director of audit. Given this is a very important matter, we need safe, solid legal advice from external counsel apart from in-house legal advice,” he explained.
The LegCo Commission will probably hold a meeting to discuss this at the end of this month. If necessary, commission members will vote on it and as commission chairman, Leung will normally not cast his vote.
On the day of the court verdict and the following day, the disqualified four, escorted by opposition lawmakers, attempted to break into the conference room where the Finance Committee meeting was in progress. The LegCo president had reminded them they should not attend the meeting or they would risk committing contempt of court.
Since Lam has come into office, the government has become more proactive and the atmosphere has greatly improved.” Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, president of the Legislative Council
Some lawmakers have proposed amending the Rules of Procedure now that six opposition lawmakers have been disqualified, to combat filibusters. In the LegCo president’s view, amendments are an ongoing process and have twice happened in this legislative term.
“Amendment to the Rules of Procedure is no deluge or monster. If CE Carrie Lam comes to LegCo once a month, we may also need to amend the rules because the question and answer session will take place at an ordinary plenary meeting,” Leung said.
Leung clarified that it is up to the Committee on Rules of Procedures to decide if rules are to be amended. “I will not play a proactive role like former LegCo president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing (who attended the committee meeting to present his proposals),” he stressed.
Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said lawmakers who took the oath should be responsible for their own behavior.