The president of the Legislative Council has maintained his decision to bar two localist lawmakers from attending a meeting on Wednesday, after the lawmakers raised a challenge.

Last Wednesday, Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chun-hang of Youngspiration were barred from the weekly meeting in a u-turn from the LegCo president. Yau and Leung wrote to the president separately on the same day, demanding that he administer the oath-taking ceremony for them on the premise that LegCo rules state lawmakers can request the ceremony without prior approval from the president.

Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

On behalf of president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, the LegCo secretariat wrote back on Tuesday to reject their request.

As per LegCo rules, Leung agreed that the lawmakers can request the oath-taking with prior approval.

“However, I must state that the article does not give the president a responsibility to immediately administer the oath-taking when a lawmaker makes the request during a LegCo meeting without prior notice,” it read.

The reply added that the president has the power to decide whether to include the oath-taking of a lawmaker in the agenda, and that Leung will not administer it until a legal challenge is concluded.

“The president is of the view that since October 25, there have not been important developments that made him change the above ruling,” it read.

Pro-democracy lawmakers are to escort the Youngspiration duo into the Legislative Council chamber again on Wednesday after independent lawmaker Lau Siu-lai takes her oath, i-Cable News has reported.

LegCo president Andrew Leung. File Photo: HKFP.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he would not rule out the possibility of an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) to bar the duo from taking the oath again. The comment received mixed reactions.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.