Former lawmaker Lau Siu-lai – who was disqualified last year over her controversial oath-taking – has joined the pro-democracy Labour Party ahead of November’s Legislative Council by-election.

Lau occupied a seat in the Kowloon West constituency before she was disqualified last July for taking her legislative oath in slow-motion as a protest. She gave up on the court appeal over the disqualification last month, triggering a by-election for the seat. The government announced on Tuesday that the elections will take place November 25.

lau siu lai
Lau Siu-lai. Photo:

Lau confirmed at a media gathering Thursday that she had joined the Labour Party and is actively considering running in the elections to regain her place in the legislature. The organisation she founded, Democracy Groundwork, will also be a member group under the party.

“The Labour Party and I are aligned in our beliefs and direction on elderly services, labour rights and land policies,” she said. She added that she had not decided whether to run as a Labour Party representative, In-Media reported.

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The Labour Party currently only has one lawmaker in the Legislative Council, Fernando Cheung, after veterans Cyd Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan failed to win seats in the 2016 legislative elections.

Lau said in May that Lee could be a substitute candidate in the event that she is barred from running. She said on Thursday that she was the “Plan A” candidate and that there was no room for failure in November’s race.

In the March by-elections, pro-democracy candidate Au Nok-hin stepped in after the democrats’ original candidate – Demosisto’s Agnes Chow – was banned from taking part.

Ko Wing-man
Ko Wing-man. File Photo: Gov HK.

Former Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man – who was among the most popular principal officials before leaving the government last year – has been considered a candidate for the pro-establishment camp. Ko previously said he has not decided whether to run.

Lau questioned whether Ko was merely skilled at public-relations, and said she was up for the challenge if he runs. Lau said she wished to expose his true colours.

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.