Disqualified lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung has said he has asked his lawyer to file an appeal as soon as possible.

Leung and three other lawmakers – Nathan Law, Edward Yiu and Lau Siu-lai – were disqualified by the court in July for not properly taking their oaths of office. They accuse the government of using legal means, and a Basic Law interpretation by Beijing, to manipulate and rewrite election results.

Leung said on Monday that he had finished applying for legal aid and the deadline for the appeal has been postponed to September 11.

“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung. Photo: HKFP/Kris Cheng.

The Basic Law interpretation demanded lawmakers take the oath solemnly and accurately. The lawmakers took the oath in October last year, a month before the interpretation was issued, but the interpretation had a retroactive effect beginning on July 1, 1997.

Leung said on Tuesday that the interpretation was not merely an interpretation of the law, but it changed the law’s requirements on oath taking. He also argued the interpretation should not have a retroactive effect.

The three other lawmakers have not filed appeals. The Court of Final Appeal will decide whether to accept an appeal application from two previously disqualified lawmakers, Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching, on August 25.

See also: The aftermath: Hong Kong’s ousted lawmakers continue their community work and activism against odds

Baggio Leung during the 2016 oath taking ceremony in the legislature. File photo: LegCo.

By-elections have yet to be arranged for the six vacant Legislative Council seats.

The seats of both Leung Kwok-hung and Baggio Leung were in the New Territories East constituency.

The pro-democracy camp has expressed concern that if all the vacant seats are filled in a single by-election, it is likely lose at least two seats under the current system.

Asking if he filed the appeal in order to force two separate by-elections for his constituency to help his camp, Leung Kwok-hung said: “They are not directly related.”

Meanwhile, the Depart of Justice has said it will not appeal a misconduct case in which Leung was recently acquitted.

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.