Date
19 October 2017
Legco's finance committee, chaired by Chan Kam-lam, approves the Express Rail Link extra budget while pan-democrats insist the vote is invalid. Photos: RTHK, HKEJ
Legco's finance committee, chaired by Chan Kam-lam, approves the Express Rail Link extra budget while pan-democrats insist the vote is invalid. Photos: RTHK, HKEJ

Express Rail Link extra budget approved in sudden vote

The finance committee of the Legislative Council approved the government’s request for an additional budget of HK$19.6 billion for the Express Rail Link after its acting chairman, Chan Kam-lam, suddenly called for a vote in a chaotic session on Friday, RTHK reports.

The division bell was not rung as pro-government councillors raised their hands to vote for the motion, the broadcaster said. 

Chan declared that the extra funding was approved while pan-democrats said the vote was invalid and demanded another meeting. 

Before the sudden voting, the session was suspended three times in less than an hour, and almost a dozen pan-democratic lawmakers were ejected amid a heated row over the funding, the report said.

Five pan-democratic legislators were thrown out by Chan after they rushed out of their seats to protest his decision to stop any further questions about the funding request to cover cost overruns for the cross-border rail project.

Among those ejected from the meeting were Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, Albert Chan and Ray Chan of People Power, Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labour Party and Claudia Mo from the Civic Party.

The lawmakers accused Chan of abusing his powers as acting chairman, and of breaking Legco’s rules of procedures.

Chan, however, insisted that the time for questions was over and the committee should proceed to the proposed amendments.

The pan-democrats refused to leave the conference room where the meeting was being held, prompting Chan to move the meeting to the main Legco chamber, the report said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

JP/CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe