Govt move will see off at least four councillors - RTHK
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Govt move will see off at least four councillors

2021-02-23 HKT 18:50
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  • Govt move will see off at least four councillors
Four serving district councillors will almost certainly lose their seats under the government's plans to extend an oath of allegiance system, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang said on Tuesday.

The government intends to require district councillors to take an oath, and legal amendments will enable disqualifications and five-year bans for any deemed to have breached it.

Tsang said if the law changes are passed, four current district councillors who were disqualified by returning officers last year when they registered to run in the abandoned Legislative Council elections will lose their district council seats.

The four are Lester Shum, Tiffany Yuen, Fergus Leung and Tat Cheng.

“The returning officers at the time have already concluded that the four do not genuinely uphold the Basic Law. So theoretically speaking, they won’t be qualified to stay on as district councillors,” the constitutional affairs chief said.

Shum accused the government of crushing dissent and said he will continue to serve in Tsuen Wan District Council until the very last moment.

Leung said he had already known that his seat in the district council was at risk when he was barred from the 2020 Legco poll.

“Our constituents elected us to serve as district councillors until at least 2023. If the authorities disqualify us before then, that would be an insult to the voters, and is unfair,” Leung told RTHK.

He added that he believes that anyone who is disqualified wouldn’t only be barred from running for public office for five years, but for life.

“You can see that in the past, people who ran in different elections at every level, ended up being disqualified every time.”

Tat Cheng, for his part, thanked his supporters, saying he will lose his Eastern District seat the very moment the law is passed.

Another pro-democracy district councillor, Roy Tam, told RTHK that many of his fellow councillors will have to consider whether to stay on or not.

“It is very harsh for any pro-democracy councillor to decide whether to stay or leave office because the amendments in the bill are very harsh and some of the statements really contradict the beliefs of the democracy camp,” he said.

“We are very disappointed that the government no longer allows the pro-democracy district councillors to voice out the issues related to society and democracy.”

Last updated: 2021-02-23 HKT 22:30