High court judge Keith Yeung Kar-hung ruled yesterday that Lee was unduly elected, saying he did not have written proof to back his election advertisement claims that he was supported by pro-democracy icons such as Lau Siu-lai. He was ordered to pay for Lam's legal costs.
Lam is a member of Kowloon West New Dynamic and failed to be reelected after losing to Lee by 170 votes in the 2019 council election.
He lodged an election petition accusing Lee of claiming to be supported by seven people, including scholar Simon Shen Xu-hui and disqualified lawmaker Lau, without their formal written consent.
The names and photos of the supporters were displayed in five of Lee's election advertisements.
According to the written judgment, Tse Yik Ching, assistant returning officer of the election, confirmed there were no records of submissions of any "consent of support" forms from the supporters.
Lam said Lee had only contacted the supporters through WhatsApp and Telegram, and Shen's written consent was signed late, while former legislator Lau did not sign the form at all.
Four of the written consents went missing. The last form from Lau Yan-chun, a student activist, disappeared for a while before being recovered.
Lam said Lee's false claims of support through the election advertisements were deliberate and violated the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance.
Lee admitted that he was so busy he printed the advertisements before getting written consent from the supporters, but said that he did not deliberately mislead voters. He applied for relief but was refused.
Lee said he is now discussing with his legal team whether to appeal to the court of final appeal.
"The results of the electoral petition will not change the fact that I was elected with over half of the votes. It is my honor to be your elected member in a democratic election. I want to thank all the support and love given by the neighborhood and fellows," Lee wrote.
In total, nine electoral petitions have been filed related to the 2019 elections.
The high court ruled against 23-year-old Kwun Tong district councilor Hinson Hung Chun-hin last month, saying he was unduly elected.
Hung, a democrat, lodged an appeal with the court of final appeal and his case will be heard June 8. He is allowed to stay on during his appeal.
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