The pro-Beijing DAB party will not support a motion to impeach Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying over the recent UGL probe controversy, DAB leader Starry Lee said on Monday.
“The opposition camp has been attacking Mr. Leung over the years. We also knew they would table an impeachment motion in response to the UGL incident. So these political attacks were anticipated. DAB will not support these political attacks,” Lee said.
The remarks came after Leung accused the pan-democrats of launching politically motivated attacks against him. He also said he has the right to protect his reputation.
On Monday evening, 28 lawmakers submitted a draft of the motion to the Legislative Council Secretariat. They alleged that Leung abused his power in an attempt to influence the scope of a legislative investigation over the HK$50 million payout he received from Australian firm UGL.
But Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said he did not expect to complete the impeachment procedure before Leung leaves office.
“It is also very difficult to initiate impeachment given the establishment majority,” he added. “Nonetheless, we want to send a clear message that Hong Kong does not tolerate the abuse of power by the chief executive to meddle in legislative affairs.”
Kenneth Leung spat
Starry Lee also challenged the membership of accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung on the investigative committee.
“Many people think that some committee members already have a pre-established position,” she said. “Many members have made clear a strong stance in public, especially Kenneth Leung. He also has a lawsuit against the chief executive, so indeed he has a more apparent position on this matter.”
The chief executive also asserted that Kenneth Leung has a direct conflict of interest as the pair are involved in a defamation lawsuit over the lawmaker’s past statements on the UGL row.
During a media session on Tuesday, the chief executive repeated his previous remarks against Leung. “If anyone continues hyping the controversy,” he warned, “it is not only defaming me but also defaming UGL.”
The scandal broke out last week after Lee’s party colleague Holden Chow was found to have allowed Leung Chun-yin to edit his document, thus altering the scope of the legislative investigation into his UGL payout.
Chow has since apologised and resigned from the probe body, though he insisted that he did not breach any rules or the law. Lee said her party had not discussed whether a DAB lawmaker would fill Chow’s seat, but said she would consider the idea.
The 28 lawmakers also submitted on Monday a motion to condemn Chow. They said earlier that they hope to discuss the two motions at the legislature on June 7 at the earliest.
Cheng Chung-tai of localist Civic Passion and medical sector lawmaker Pierre Chan Pui-yin joined 26 pan-democrats in submitting the motions.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong – also known as the DAB – is the city’s largest political party.