Intellasia East Asia News – Scuffles in HK’s Legislative Council forward of committee showdown

Intellasia East Asia News – Scuffles in HK’s Legislative Council forward of committee showdown


Hong Kong’s opposition legislators walked out of a key committee assembly on Friday afternoon, after 10 of their colleagues had been ejected by a pro-establishment chief who had taken management of the physique.

The pan-democrats threatened authorized motion in opposition to Legislative Council employees, whom they accused of abandoning political neutrality and “colluding” with Starry Lee Wai-king handy her management of the House Committee. The panel, gridlocked for months, is answerable for scrutinising payments earlier than sending them for a ultimate vote.

Legislative Council members jostle in the chamber on Friday. Photo: Dickson Lee

Legislative Council members jostle within the chamber on Friday. Photo: Dickson Lee

The bloc additionally vowed to proceed to host “legitimate” conferences to elect a committee chair, which they preserve needs to be the primary order of enterprise.

The face-off got here after Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in addition to the central authorities, urged lawmakers to interrupt the impasse and transfer on to processing laws, together with the nationwide anthem invoice, which defines how individuals should behave when March of the Volunteers is performed. Beijing’s brokers overseeing native affairs have additionally accused committee vice-chair Dennis Kwok of misconduct, for permitting his fellow pan-democrats to filibuster within the committee.

Hong Kong lawmakers from opposing camps scramble for the chair’s seat within the assembly room, the place a fiery House Committee assembly is because of begin

The crux of the battle was whether or not the assembly needs to be led by Lee the incumbent chairwoman pending the election or Kwok, the committee’s vice-chair, who has presided over conferences whereas she vies for one more time period.

The drama started when Lee dashed for the rostrum instantly after the top of an schooling panel assembly at 1.15pm, beating any opposition member to it.

Her pro-government allies surrounded her, whereas safety guards prevented pan-democrats from getting shut.

A shouting match ensued, with pan-democrats chanting “Starry Lee step down”. Their rivals yelled that Kwok was abusing his energy, and held placards saying he needs to be kicked out of the legislature.

As the two.30pm assembly began, amid pushing and jostling, Lee began to talk however her voice was largely drowned out. She cited Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen’s view that she had the ability to deal with pressing issues, saying she hoped to succeed in a consensus over who ought to preside.

She warned pan-democrats who didn’t take their seats that they had been in breach of the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance, beneath which anybody who interferes with or obstructs a Legco officer within the execution of their duties is liable to a positive of HK$10,000 (US$1,290) or a 12 months in jail.

By 3pm, Lee had ordered the elimination of six pan-democrats, who had both tried to storm the chairperson’s seat or had been shouting from the ground. Security guards forcibly eliminated them, finally eradicating 10 in whole.

Andrew Wan Siu-kin, who was amongst these expelled, injured his again and was taken to hospital in an ambulance.

Speaking from his personal seat, Kwok stated he had ordered Lee to go away the chairperson’s seat half an hour after the assembly began, however regretted that safety guards didn’t execute the order.

He instructed Lee: “You think you are holding a meeting now? In Hong Kong, meetings should be held in accordance with the Legislative Council Ordinance.”

“You haven’t learned any lessons from last year’s meetings over the extradition bill,” he added, referring to bodily clashes and mayhem between the 2 camps over the now-withdrawn invoice, which triggered months of often-violent unrest.

However, Legco’s authorized adviser Connie Fung Sau-kuen agreed that Lee, because the incumbent committee chair, had the ability to preside over the assembly. She denied that that contradicted earlier recommendation, which she offered in October.

“The original advice in October is about the normal situation… The rules of procedure are to facilitate the meeting, they cannot be interpreted to paralyse the meeting.”

The conflict adopted a morning session of the committee, which ended with the opposition camp vowing to stymie the pro-government bloc’s agenda for the afternoon, insisting {that a} new chairperson should be put in earlier than every other enterprise is dealt with.

Kwok ended a 45-minute session by ruling that the election ought to stay the committee’s “first order of business”, regardless of protests from Lee’s allies.

Citing counsel from constitutional legislation consultants Philip Dykes and Johannes Chan Man-mun, Kwok and his pro-democracy allies stated Lee might have a battle of curiosity, in chairing the assembly whereas standing for re-election.

Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO), and its liaison workplace within the metropolis, have accused Kwok of paralysing Legco with filibustering techniques.

They have pointed to the backlog of payments piled up since October, whereas Kwok’s rivals say he has allowed lawmakers from his camp to talk at size to delay the vote on the chair up to now 15 conferences.


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Category: Hong Kong

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