By Kris Cheng
This article first appeared in Hong Kong Free Press on 21 May 2018
Link to original article: HERE
Ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai says she will discuss with the pro-democracy camp whether to retract her appeal against her disqualification this week.
She will host a press conference next week with another disqualified lawmaker – “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung – about her decision.
If Lau drops her appeal, it may trigger a by-election in the Kowloon West constituency as early as the end of this year.
Lau and Leung were disqualified by a court in July 2017 after the government filed judicial reviews against them after they staged protests at their oath taking ceremony in October 2016. Beijing subsequently issued a controversial interpretation of the Basic Law which demanded that lawmakers take their oaths solemnly and accurately.
The appeals filed by the duo were scheduled to be heard next April, though they applied to schedule the hearings earlier. Lau said November would be the earliest their appeals could be heard.
Apple Daily cited unnamed sources reporting that Lau will announce a retraction of her appeal at a press conference next week. However, Lau told HKFP that she has yet to make a decision.
“We have to reach a consensus with the four blocs of the pro-democracy camp,” she said.
In the March by-election, pro-Beijing candidate Vincent Cheng beat pro-democracy candidate Edward Yiu in Kowloon West.
Before the election, there were rumours that Yiu, a disqualified lawmaker himself, would be barred from running. But he was allowed to run after the election officer asked him several questions regarding his allegiance to the Basic Law.
The term of the current Legislative Council is set to end in September 2020.