Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Democrats summon officials to legislature; raise 17 new motions in bid to stall pro-Beijing camp rule changes

The pro-democracy camp has raised 17 fresh motions to stall the Legislative Council meeting on December 6 in an effort to prevent the proposed changes to the LegCo rules from being passed.

The pro-Beijing camp and democrats have been in weeks-long tit-for-tat battle proposing changes to the legislature’s rules to their benefit. Since six democratically-elected lawmakers were disqualified by a court, the pro-democracy camp no longer has enough votes to block any proposals if they reach the voting stage. The changes may prevent democrats from forming select committees and using filibustering tactics.

Pro-democracy camp lawmakers

Pro-democracy camp lawmakers. File Photo: Facebook/Dennis Kwok.

They raised a dozen motions in accordance with Article 73(5) and (10) of the Basic Law, which allow lawmakers to raise questions on the work of the government and to summon officials to testify or give evidence.

They also raised censure motions against five pro-Beijing lawmakers, including LegCo President Andrew Leung, Starry Lee, Chan Kin-por, Junius Ho and Wilson Or, in accordance with the Article 79 of the Basic Law. Each lawmaker can speak for 15 minutes on the topic.

Andrew Leung approved the 17 motions.

Priorities

Pro-democracy camp convener Charles Mok urged Leung to follow the usual practice and insert their motions into the agenda before the pro-Beijing camp’s motions: “We have to use all means to block the pro-Beijing camp’s amendments to reduce lawmakers’ powers.”

However, pro-Beijing lawmaker Gary Chan also wrote to Leung urging him to consider the pro-Beijing camp’s motion to change the legislature’s rules first.

The LegCo Secretariat said the agenda will be arranged in accordance with the rule 18 of the Rules of Procedures, but any motions with legal effect and urgency will have higher priority. The secretariat has not showed any stance, but a preliminary agenda should be set early next week as per usual practice.

Gary Chan

Gary Chan. File Photo: LegCo.

Previously, the democrats have used government bills as a battlefield to stall meetings, but the government has temporarily stopped submitting bills to the LegCo in response.

A Legislative Council meeting on Thursday was prematurely adjourned owing to a lack of quorum, as democrats continued their stalling tactics.

Michael Luk

Michael Luk. File Photo: In-Media.

In response, Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Michael Luk said that the democrats’ new move was a further attempt to obstruct proceedings: “These are just crazy.”

He said the new situation proved that the rules must be changed to allow the LegCo to return to its normal efficiency.

The 12 motions raised by the democrats to summon officials include:

Andrew Leung

Andrew Leung. Photo: LegCo.

The five motions to censure include:

Democrats summon officials to legislature; raise 17 new motions in bid to stall pro-Beijing camp rule changes