Monday, September 28, 2020

LegCo president: Foul acts by rowdy lawmakers at record high

Jul 19. 2020
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By Chen Zimo in Hong Kong
China Daily

Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen took a swipe at unruly opposition lawmakers on Friday as the legislature wrapped up its four-year term, pointing to the record number of foul acts that had disrupted and even paralyzed the council’s operations.

He said it was like a roller-coaster ride for the chamber with worsening order at meetings, and warned that future executive-legislative relations may be dictated by the overall political environment.  

Twenty-five legislators had to be evicted, some forcibly, from meetings 97 times for unruly behavior – 30 percent more that in the previous legislative term. 

Leung blamed the city’s general political climate for the discord in the legislature, and urged future LegCo members to understand that serving the people of Hong Kong remains their primary objective. He said they should learn to cooperate with and respect others with different views.

Nomination of candidates for the upcoming legislative election will begin on Saturday. Candidates will compete for 70 seats – 35 each from the geographical and functional constituencies – on Sept 6.

Leung recalled that one of the most appalling incidents was when three opposition lawmakers hurled rotten plants and foul-smelling liquids during two council meetings on May 28 and June 4 in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings. The three were later ordered to pay a total of more than HK$252,000 for disinfection and cleaning work.

According to Leung, the legislative session had lost more than 200 hours of meeting time due to the extensive damage caused to the LegCo building and its facilities by radical protesters on July 1 last year, repeated filibustering by the opposition during bill-vetting House Committee meetings from October to May, and the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, the sixth-term LegCo session saw fewer meeting hours than the previous two terms, with only 141 meetings held, taking up 1,711 hours.

Leung said the government had introduced 90 bills in the past four years, 73 of which had been passed as of Friday afternoon. Notable high-profile bills included the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Co-location) Bill passed on June 14, 2018, and the National Anthem Bill, which was passed on June 4.

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