Pro-democracy lawmakers have called upon Legislative Council President Andrew Leung to step down after he halted a chaotic session on Wednesday over the ongoing oath controversy.
Leung announced on Tuesday that he would defer the retaking of oaths by Youngspiration lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chun-hang until the government’s judicial review is concluded. The controversy surrounds Yau and Leung who referred “China” to “Chee-na” – considered by some to be insulting – in the legislature’s swearing-in session two weeks ago.
Yau said: “Baggio Leung and I should be legally allowed into the meeting room. But today we had to rely on the help of the pan-democrats and opposition camp in order to get into the meeting room.”
“This shows that the president did not read the rules of procedure well, and used a reason completely lacking in legal basis to deny presiding over the oaths of Baggio Leung and I,” she added.
“The president is shameless, [he] is the culprit of destroying the legislature’s honour,” Yau said. “He only cared about the pro-Beijing camp’s interests.”
Baggio Leung thanked the opposition lawmakers for escorting them into the chamber this morning. “Our action today proved that tyranny will only unite us.”
Some pro-democracy lawmakers surrounded Yau and Leung to prevent the legislature’s security guards from removing them.
The pro-democracy camp is now calling upon Andrew Leung to resign.
Helena Wong Pik-wan of the Democratic Party said: “We need to protect the dignity of the Legislative Council. We want a president who is not the president of a particular camp, but a fair and neutral president.”
“We are here right now, not actually for the pro-democracy camp, but for all Hong Kong people,” said Nathan Law of Demosistō. “We want to protect the system that we have made through these years, that we enjoy and treasure.”
Calling the president a “pawn of the pro-establishment camp,” Law said: “Leung… should be held responsible and should step down after he has abused his powers. This, I believe, is the most basic and united stance of everyone who support democracy and self-determination.”
James To Kun-sun of the Democratic Party said: “[Andrew Leung] should step down because he hasn’t even the basic ability to manage the meeting.”
He said that Leung had said that there were “no problems” when lawmakers raised challenges over the procedures, rather than hear the challenges.
‘I need cooperation’
Andrew Leung said he will not change his ruling barring the duo from attending the meeting. “But I think for the meeting to go on in an orderly fashion, I need the cooperation of all 69 members,” he said. “I will not make the job of our colleagues [LegCo staff members] difficult.”
Leung said he decided not to switch the meeting to another room because the chaos would still continue.
The pro-Beijing camp said that they were “extremely regretful” that the meeting was adjourned.
“We will support the decision handed down by the president of the LegCo,” said Holden Chow of the pro-Beijing DAB party.
Youngspiration has called for a rally to “protect the separation of powers” and to “return our lawmaking dignity” at 6pm on Wednesday in the protest area of the Legislative Council.
The party said that it hoped that Hong Kong people will protect the separation of powers and stop the “Hong Kong communist government” from destroying the city’s system.