By-election winner Au Nok-hin faces disqualification case

March 14, 2018 12:39
Wong Tai-hoi (inset, center), files an application for judicial review to seek the disqualification of pan-democrat Au Nok-hin (right), who won the Legco by-election in the Hong Kong Island constituency on Sunday. Photo: HKEJ/RTHK

Pan-democrat Au Nok-hin, who won the Legislative Council by-election in the Hong Kong Island constituency on Sunday, burned a copy of the Basic Law, the city's mini-constitution, during a protest in 2016.

Therefore, according to businessman Wong Tai-hoi, 46, he should be disqualified and not allowed to become a Legco member.

Wong, secretary general of the Taxi Drivers and Operators Association, on Tuesday filed an application for judicial review with the High Court seeking to disqualify Au. 

He said Au's action showed that he never really respected or upheld the Basic law, a requirement for Legco members.

Wong, accompanied by former lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing of Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, asked the court to issue an injunction against Au’s eligibility to run and be elected for a Legco seat, and against Au taking his oath next week, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

He also asked the court to ban Anne Teng Yu-yan, the returning officer in charge of the Hong Kong Island constituency, from gazetting the election result.

Accusing Au of supporting Hong Kong independence, Wong said Teng should not have allowed him to run in the first place.

Wong said he lodged the legal challenge in the interest of justice, adding that he will pay for all related costs.

A hearing on the case is scheduled for Friday.

Au told a radio program after learning about the legal action that he has never burned a real copy of the Basic Law.

He said he only burned a prop when he joined a crowd to protest against the interpretation of the law by the National People's Congress in 2016.

Disagreeing with Beijing’s decision does not mean he is not upholding the Basic Law, he said.

Calling Wong a sore loser, Au said the judicial review challenge against him was an attempt to overturn the voters' decision. He said he will definitely take his oath as a lawmaker.

Au won Sunday’s by-election by securing 137,181 votes to defeat New People’s Party candidate Judy Chan Ka-pui, who obtained 127,634 votes.

Cheng Yiu-tong, honorary president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, said Au should forsake his eligibility because of his action in the 2016 protest.

He said even if Au only burned a prop, in his behavior and consciousness he really does not accept the Basic Law, and therefore he should not become a Legco member.

The Legco Secretariat has announced that the four winners in Sunday’s by-elections will take their oaths next Wednesday as scheduled.

Asked about the controversy surrounding Au's eligibility, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she will not comment on any individual case and will respect the administration of justice.

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