A retired photojournalist has applied for judicial review concerning the oaths of 14 lawmakers and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, saying they should be disqualified from office.

Cheung Tak-wing questioned the oaths of 14 lawmakers who are mostly from the pro-establishment camp in his application on Tuesday.

The High Court ruled on the same day that the government won its bid to disqualify Younspiration politicians Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung Chung-hang from the Legislative Council.

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

The two politicians took their oaths while carrying a flag which said “Hong Kong is not China” and pronounced China as “Chee-na,” a derogatory term for some.

Among the lawmakers, Cheung said that some, such as Andrew Leung and Regina Ip, held rights of abode in other countries, meaning that their oaths were not truly declaring loyalty and thus had violated Basic Law article 104.

Article 104 says that relevant members of the government and judiciary must “swear to uphold the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.”

cheung tak-wing
Cheung Tak-wing.

Beijing’s interpretation of Article 104, handed down on November 7, said that oaths must be “accurately, completely and solemnly read out.”

The impugned oaths included those of lawmakers Tommy Cheung, Priscilla Leung, Regina Ip, Alice Mak, Pierre Chan, Michael Tien, Frankie Yick, Holden Chow, Paul Tse, Martin Liao, and Abraham Shek.

ann chiang take oath
Ann Chiang taking oath. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

Cheung also said that Shek read the wrong word during his oath, while Peter Wong and the Chief Executive both left out words in the oath. He also pointed out that Ann Chiang, who gave her oath in Mandarin, did not pronounce the characters correctly.

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Several other applications for judicial reviews related to oath-taking in the current legislative term are also going through the legal process. One was filed by Kwok Cheuk-kin, a Cheung Chau resident nicknamed the “king of judicial review,” who is challenging the Chief Executive and three other pro-establishment lawmakers. Another was filed by a member of a pro-Beijing taxi association, which asked the court to disqualify eight pro-democracy lawmakers for making invalid oaths.

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Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.