Get set for fresh battles between pan-dems and pro-Beijing camp

October 15, 2019 12:17
As Hong Kong's legislature reconvenes after a long break, lawmakers from the two main political camps are gearing up for fresh clashes on various issues, including the extradition bill-related incidents. Photo: Bloomberg

With pro-establishment lawmaker Chan Kin-por re-elected as chairman of the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee on Monday, and elections for chairmanship and deputy chairmanship of the Legco’s House Committee set to take place on Tuesday, Hong Kong is set to witness a fresh battle between the two main political camps in the city.

The gloves are off between the pro-Beijing groups and the pan-democrats as they compete for top posts in various Legislative Council committees and panels.

Earlier, a veteran pro-establishment lawmaker had said that they will go all out in the race to helm the 18 Legco policy panels, eyeing the chairmanship and vice-chairmanship of each and every committee.

According to the Legco Secretariat, most pro-establishment lawmakers had, as of Oct. 12, signed up for 12 to 14 panels on average.

Except for the Panel on Welfare Services, where the pan-dems are holding a slight majority of 11, among 20 lawmakers who have signed up for membership, the pro-democracy camp is outnumbered in all the other 17 panels by the pro-establishment camp.

Given this, chances are that the pan-dems may only be able to hang on to the chairmanship of the welfare services panel this session, after helming four Legco panels -- the Panel on Welfare Services, the Panel on Manpower, the Panel on Education, and the Panel on Public Service -- in the previous legislative session.

A pan-dem has pointed out that the so-called “coordination” mechanism between them and the pro-establishment bloc has become virtually moribund in recent years.

Outnumbered they may be, but as long as the various issues arising from the anti-extradition bill saga, particularly alleged police brutality on protesters, remain unresolved, the pan-dems are determined to stonewall each and every Legco meeting in the coming days.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct 14

Translation by Alan Lee with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.