Govt questions oaths taken by 17 district councillors

Seventeen district councillors face disqualification after the government raised doubts about the oaths they took on Friday.

Dozens of council members from Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Kwai Tsing and Islands District took part in the fourth and final oath-taking ceremony before the oath administrator, Home Affairs Secretary Caspar Tsui.

Four councillors – Poon Chi-kin and Wong Tak-yuen from Tuen Mun, Li Chung-chi from Yuen Long and Kwok Tsz-kin of Kwai Tsing – did not turn up, therefore losing their seats immediately.

The government said two councillors from Yuen Long, Tommy Cheung and Young Ka-on, provided the oath administrator with the reasons for not attending, and their cases were being handled.

Cheung, a former student leader, said he could not attend the ceremony due to surgery.

The government announced that the oaths taken by 51 councillors were valid, but questioned the oaths taken by 17 others, among them former lawmaker Roy Kwong of the Democratic Party who’s a councillor from Yuen Long.

They have been asked to submit further information to the oath administrator.

Tuen Mun councillor Wong Tan-ching’s oath was one of those deemed valid.

He said after the oath-taking ceremony that while some councillors might have decided not to take part, he was there because he’d promised voters that he wants to complete his four-year term.

“People voted for us, and I would like to still be a councillor,” Wong said.

A total of 33 district councillors have been disqualified thus far after their oaths were ruled invalid by the government.