Date
24 September 2017
Lau Siu-lai says there is nothing to stop her from running in a by-election in her constituency while she awaits a decision on her appeal. Photo: HKEJ
Lau Siu-lai says there is nothing to stop her from running in a by-election in her constituency while she awaits a decision on her appeal. Photo: HKEJ

Lau Siu-lai eyes by-election pending decision on appeal

One of the six lawmakers who were stripped of their seats in the Legislative Council by the High Court said she would consider running in a by-election in her constituency.

Lau Siu-lai, founder of Democracy Groundwork, told hk01.com that she would proactively consider running in a by-election for the Kowloon West constituency once the date is confirmed.

Lau was disqualified from the legislature for improper oath-taking after she read her oath with long pauses between words at her swearing-in in October last year.

Lau said there is nothing to stop her from running in the by-election while she waits for a decision on her appeal.

Lau and “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, another pro-democracy lawmaker who was also disqualified for improper oath-taking, filed their petitions with the Court of Appeal on Monday.

The government is expected to hold by-elections to fill the vacant Legco seats left by Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang (New Territories East), Yau Wai-ching (Kowloon West), Nathan Law Kwun-chung (Hong Kong Island) and Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim (architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency).

Localists Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, who sought a judicial review but had their application denied by the Court of Final Appeal, have both implied they’re not running.

Meanwhile, Leung Kwok-hung said he will make a decision after the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) decides the election date.

The EAC is set to hold a meeting this week to discuss arrangements for the by-elections after Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the government hopes to see the Legco vacancies filled as soon as possible.

A source from the pan-democratic camp said Lau Siu-lai and Leung Kwok-hung should have a good chance of joining the race.

What they can do, according to the source, is withdraw their appeal as soon as the election date is announced.

Winning the by-election is a much faster way for the duo to return to Legco than going through the legal process, the source said.

Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said if the duo and Edward Yiu intend to join the by-elections, the pan-democratic camp should respect their will and treat them as priority candidates, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Wu said that if the three do not intend to run, the pan-democratic camp will have to reach a consensus internally or run a “preliminary election” within the camp to produce a candidate.

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