The High Court has disqualified Sixtus “Baggio” Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the localist group Youngspiration, saying they lost their seats in the Legislative Council when they failed to take a valid oath of office.
Justice Thomas Au said the manner in which the two took their oaths on Oct. 12 showed “objectively and clearly that they did not truthfully and faithfully intend” to commit themselves to upholding the Basic Law and swearing allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, public broadcaster RTHK reports.
He also ruled that Legco President Andrew Leung has no power to allow the two to take their oaths again.
Reacting to the ruling, Sixtus Leung said he was “dissatisfied” with it but added that he does not regret his actions.
Yau Wai-ching said the ruling was expected and accused the Hong Kong and mainland governments of putting pressure on the court.
Chief Executive, CY Leung, and Secretary for Justice, Rimksy Yuen, launched the unprecedented legal challenge on Oct. 18, to effectively bar the two from the legislature.
This came after their attempts to take their oaths at the opening session of the legislature were ruled invalid, when they altered the wording, used a derogatory term for China and displayed a banner that read “Hong Kong is not China”.
The judicial review also challenged Andrew Leung’s decision to allow the two to retake their oaths.
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee waded into the row on November 7, while the High Court was still considering its judgment.
It issued an interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law, which deals with the oaths that government officials, judges, and lawmakers have to swear before they enter office.
The interpretation set out detailed requirements for taking the oaths, and said that any oath taken in a manner that is not sincere or solemn would be considered invalid.
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