The pro-establishment camp moved two motions in the Legislative Council on Wednesday for disqualification of two prominent opposition lawmakers who had been found guilty earlier this year by a local court over offenses related to the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy movement.
The motions, which targeted Civic Party’s Tanya Chan Suk-chong and Shiu Ka-chun, a lawmaker representing the social welfare functional constituency, however failed as the proposals didn’t get the required number of votes, handing a victory for the opposition.
Chan — who is currently the convener of the pan-democrats’ meeting group of lawmakers — and Shiu were among nine people convicted in April for their leading roles in the 2014 Occupy protests.
Chan was convicted of two charges against her, namely, inciting others to cause public nuisance and inciting people to incite others to cause public nuisance, by the District Court. She was given eight months in jail, but the sentence was suspended for two years in view of her delicate health condition.
Shiu also got the same jail term for the same offences. He served time and got out of prison on Oct 3.
Moving a motion for relieving Chan of her duties as Legco member, establishment lawmaker Wong Ting-kwong, who belongs to the pro-Beijing party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), accused Chan of knowingly breaking the law, and that the Legco should send a clear message by stripping her lawmaker status.
Ben Chan Han-pan, another DAB lawmaker, supported the motion, saying the “illegal” Occupy movement was a negative watershed event that caused deep divisions within Hong Kong.
The pan-democratic lawmakers violated the law for the reason of civil disobedience, Ben Chan said. If the Legco just sits back and does nothing after Tanya Chan’s sentence, the general public may interpret the illegal Occupy movement in a wrong way, he said, insisting that Tanya Chan should pay for her mistakes.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Wong Kwok-kin from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions moved a motion to relieve Shiu of his duties as a Legco member, saying that since Shiu had been sentenced to a jail term exceeding one month, he should be stripped of his Legco seat according to the Basic Law.
Shiu, on his part, slammed Wong Ting-kwong and Wong Kwok-kin and accused them of trying to create more disputes through their motions.
Also, he said the establishment bloc doesn’t seem to have a grasp of the public sentiments even after the months-long anti-government movement this year and the outcome of the Nov. 24 District Council election, which saw opposition candidates receive overwhelming endorsement from citizens.
After some pointed exchanges between the rival camps, when voting took place on the two motions of DAB members, the result came as a relief for the opposition lawmakers.
The motion targeting Chan ended up with a vote of 29 for and 24 against, while the one against Shui saw a 31-25 vote, in for and against, meaning that both fell short of the required endorsement of a two-thirds majority of the members present in the House.
Following the pro-establishment camp’s failed bid, pan-democratic lawmaker Dr Kwok Ka-ki of the Civic Party moved a motion to censure pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu for misbehavior and breach of oath under Article 104 of the Basic Law.
Another pan-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching of the Council Front also moved a motion to censure Ho for misbehavior.
As no pro-establishment lawmakers were seen stepping forward to defend Ho, Legco President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen decided to leave the two reprimand motions for an investigation committee to handle.
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