16 February 2019
Albert Ho (inset) says the pan-democrats will step up pressure against the government in the Legislative Council. Photo:, HKEJ
Albert Ho (inset) says the pan-democrats will step up pressure against the government in the Legislative Council. Photo:, HKEJ

Pan-democrats eye chairmanship of two Legco subcommittees

Pan-democrat lawmakers are eyeing the chair of two Legislative Council (Legco) subcommittees.

The move on the two panels of the Finance Committee is aimed at putting pressure on the government for political reform.

Twenty seven pan-democratic legislators have applied to join the Public Works Subcommittee and the Establishment Subcommittee which are mainly responsible for public works expenditure appropriation.

Legco will elect the president and vice-president of the subcommittees on Thursday.

As the number of pan-democrats is more than half of a committee, they are likely to get to chair the two committees, which means it would be more difficult for the government to secure appropriation in the future, China Review News reported Tuesday.

Albert Ho and Helena Wong from the Democratic Party said they will fight the government in Legco and step up non-cooperation so as to wring some political reform concessions. 

They asked the government to re-draft the complementary consultation report on political reform or consider a relaunch of political reform, the report said.

Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said it is unusual for so many pan-democrats to join the two subcommittees (10 is the usual number). He is worried they would stall proceedings and object to bills which would affect projects.

The DAB’s Ip Kwok-him is said to be responsible for the pan-democrats’ move as he is supposed to balance the number of members in the subcommittees, Apple Daily said.

“I have never seen the whole camp joining just one to two subcommittees. It is revenge and the move is unwise,” Ip said.

However, Alan Leong of the Civil Party said it is not a last-minute decision and they have told Ip beforehand, the report said.

Leong is tentatively slated to chair the Public Works Subcommittee while Kenneth Leung of The Professional Commons will chair the Establishment Subcommittee. They have yet to decide whether to allow pro-Beijing lawmakers to be the vice-chairmen of the two subcommittees, Apple Daily said.

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