Date
21 August 2017
A controversial development plan for northeastern New Territories has prompted some Hong Kong lawmakers to use filibustering tactics in the legislature. Photo: HKEJ
A controversial development plan for northeastern New Territories has prompted some Hong Kong lawmakers to use filibustering tactics in the legislature. Photo: HKEJ

People Power filibustering stalls Legco meeting

Radical political group People Power successfully paralyzed a legislative council meeting on Wednesday, forcing the adjournment of the meeting by calling for a final quorum, Ming Pao Daily News reported Thursday.

As only 33 legislative councilors were present, two short of the quorum of half the 70 legislators, the meeting was adjourned until next Wednesday.

People Power’s Albert Chan and Raymond Chan together called for a headcount 20 times during Wednesday’s meeting as part of their filibustering tactics.

The duo said their actions are in protest against the government’s development plans for northeastern New Territories, the preliminary funding for which was controversially approved by the Legco Finance Committee last week. Committee chairman Ng Leung-sing was accused of ignoring house rules in permitting the vote on the filibuster-delayed proposal.

Legislator Jeffrey Lam, vice chairman of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, said fellow lawmaker Cheung Wah-fung dared not go out for lunch as he feared it might have caused adjournment of the meeting. Paralyzing legislative council meetings with headcount tactics is very unwise, Lam stressed.

Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the pan-democrats are responsible for the hold-up.

Albert Chan said there was special meaning in forcing the meeting off on Wednesday as they can welcome back legislator Leung Kwok-hung, who is currently serving a one-month prison term for disorderly behavior and criminal damage, to join in next week’s meeting, the report said.

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