Legislative Council President Andrew Leung says he is not worried that there will be a repeat of the oath-taking controversy, which led to the disqualification of six lawmakers.

Leung said he believes that newly-elected lawmakers will sincerely and accurately take their oaths of office.

Sunday’s by-election saw pro-democracy camp candidates Au Nok-hin and Gary Fan elected in the Hong Kong Island and New Territories East constituencies respectively.

Andrew Leung
Andrew Leung. File Photo: LegCo.

Au – who is considered the “backup” candidate for Demosisto’s Agnes Chow – defeated the New People’s Party’s Judy Chan, and Fan beat pro-Beijing candidate Bill Tang to regain a seat in the legislature, having previously lost in the 2016 general elections.

Meanwhile, ousted lawmaker Edward Yiu lost to the DAB’s Vincent Cheng by 2,419 votes in Kowloon West, and pro-Beijing candidate Tony Tse defeated Paul Zimmerman in the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency.

The by-elections were held to fill four seats vacated over the oath-taking row, which gave way to a controversial interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The interpretation – which has a retroactive effect – states the legal requirements for candidates standing for election as well as the oath-taking ceremony.

Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, Leung congratulated the four newly-elected lawmakers and said he hoped they will carry out their responsibilities in monitoring the government and reviewing bills. He also said he hoped there would be room for cooperation and urged them to do their best for the public, Commercial Radio reported.

Edward Yiu, one of the three lawmakers whose oaths were rejected. Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

According to Leung, the oath-taking ceremony will take place on March 21. Leung said he did not anticipate any problems, as the national legislature’s Basic Law interpretation has clearly explained the requirements for oath-taking, and the Legislative Council Secretariat will give clear instructions to the legislators.

Leung added that he will supervise the oath-taking in accordance with the conditions set out by the Basic Law interpretation.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.