Four newly-elected Hong Kong lawmakers were sworn into office on Monday, one of whom had to repeat the oath vowing to uphold the city’s mini-constitution and serve its government after mispronouncing some parts of the oath.

Adrian Ho, founder of pro-Beijing Facebook group SaveHK, Chan Wing-kwong from the pro-Beijing DAB party, engineering professor William Wong, and AI company director Shang Hailong, took their oaths at the Legislative Council in front of Chief Executive John Lee on Monday.

Legislative Council oath taking swearing in William Wong
William Wong takes an oath at the Legislative Council on Dec. 19, 2022. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

The four were elected in a by-election on Sunday for four vacancies in the Election Committee constituency. Their predecessors – Horace Cheung, Nelson Lam, Alice Mak and Sun Dong – joined Lee’s cabinet in July.

Only members of the 1,500-seat Election Committee, made up of pro-Beijing elites, are eligible to vote for the city’s chief executive. The constituency was expanded and its composition changed as part of a Beijing-led election overhaul in March 2021.

Wong was the last of the four to take his oath. The professor, who took the oath in Cantonese, mispronounced “solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm,” and was asked to repeat the entire oath by Kenneth Chen, secretary general of the legislature.

Legislative Council oath taking swearing in Adrian Ho
Adrian Ho of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party takes an oath at the Legislative Council on Dec. 19, 2022. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Lawmakers-elect risk disqualification if they refuse to take an oath of allegiance, or intentionally change the content of the oath.

The requirement was introduced after an oath-taking fallout in the Legislative Council in 2016 that saw six lawmakers-elect disqualified from the legislature.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.