The Legislative Council seats of two localist Youngspiration party politicians have been officially declared vacant. By-elections will be triggered in four to six months to fill their seats.

In the gazette published on Monday, the clerk to the Council said rulings by the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal have created two vacancies in the Kowloon West and New Territories East district held by Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chun-hang respectively.

yau wai ching baggio leung
Yau Wai-ching and Baggio Leung. Photo: SocRec screenshot/HKFP.

The duo took their oaths of office in ways that some deemed derogatory towards Chinese people. Subsequently, the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen lodged legal challenges against them.

Before the Court of First Instance handed down its ruling, Beijing’s top legislature issued an interpretation of the Basic Law which said lawmakers must take their oath of office sincerely and solemnly, or they would not be able to take their seats. Following that, the duo lost their case in the initial hearing and in an ensuing appeal.

Leung Kwok-hung, Edward Yiu, Yau Wai-ching, Nathan Law, Lau Siu-lai, Baggio Leung
Leung Kwok-hung, Edward Yiu, Yau Wai-ching, Nathan Law, Lau Siu-lai, Baggio Leung. Photo: HKFP.

The pair had said they would consider filing an appeal to the Court of Final Appeal, but they have yet to do so.

Last Friday, the government announced further judicial reviews relating to the oaths of four other pro-democracy legislators, including “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, Nathan Law Kwun-chung of Demosisto, Lau Siu-lai of Democracy Groundwork, and independent lawmaker Edward Yiu Chung-yim.

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.