Carrie Lam’s Legco question and answer session ends in chaos, with three pro-democracy lawmakers expelled over protest

06-Dec-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A short question and answer session with Hong Kong’s leader at the Legislative Council ended in chaos on Wednesday, with three pro-democracy lawmakers expelled after staging a protest.

This is the first time a 30-minute Legco question and answer session has concluded abruptly since Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor began holding them in January. The meeting, Lam’s ninth since she took office, was expected to be held between 11am and 11.30am.

Before the session began, 10 pro-democracy lawmakers, including Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, greeted the chief executive outside the chamber with a banner proclaiming opposition to “government control of elections”.

On Sunday, Chu became the 10th person since 2016 to be disqualified from running in a poll over issues of allegiance. The lawmaker was barred from contesting a rural representative election after the returning officer said Chu had “implicitly” maintained support for the possibility of Hong Kong breaking away from China.

 (South China Morning Post)

(South China Morning Post)

“Political censorship. Shame!” the lawmakers chanted as Lam walked by. The pan-democrats then followed Lam into the chamber, with a few continuing their chants.

Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen promptly ordered Chu, Claudia Mo Man-ching and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen who were still yelling slogans to leave the chamber.

This sparked an outcry from the pro-democracy camp, with lawmakers arguing that Leung had not given sufficient warning before expelling the trio. The pan-democrats flanked the three lawmakers, who refused to leave.

Leung adjourned the meeting for 15 minutes.

Lam returned when the session resumed, but the pro-democracy camp continued chanting slogans in the chamber.

At 11.25am, the Legco president announced the meeting had ended.

“It is so ridiculous. I had barely stepped into the chamber when Leung expelled us,” Mo said.

“They just want the Legco to be a rubber stamp body and turn us into hand-raising machines.”

The pro-establishment camp in turn criticised the pan-democrats for wasting a valuable chance to raise livelihood issues with the chief executive.

Lawmaker and executive councillor Wong Kwok-Kin, from the Federation of Trade Unions, said his party would propose new changes to the Legco’s rules of procedure.

“Today’s chaos well illustrates the need to further tighten our rule book,” Wong said.

Speaking after the opening ceremony for the Hong Kong News-Expo later on Wednesday, Lam said it was unfortunate that the question and answer session had been scrapped.

“In any case, I will maintain close communication with Legco,” the chief executive said.

“I hope next time I attend the question and answer session it can conducted more smoothly.”

Lam did not say if she was concerned about being interrupted at future sessions.



Category: Hong Kong

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