Legco adjourned amid stand-off, filibuster - RTHK
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Legco adjourned amid stand-off, filibuster

2017-11-02 HKT 16:40
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  • Legco adjourned amid stand-off, filibuster
  • The Land Justice League lawmaker caught his colleagues on both sides by surprise with his request. Photo: RTHK
    The Land Justice League lawmaker caught his colleagues on both sides by surprise with his request. Photo: RTHK
The Legislative Council was adjourned on Thursday after a stand-off which saw president Andrew Leung ordering the removal of Democrat Ted Hui, an order that was prevented from being carried out by opposition lawmakers.

The dramatic scenes followed a surprise move by pro-democracy lawmaker Chu Hoi-dick, who again managed to stall the debate on the government's non-binding motion on the West Kowloon rail terminal proposal.

The council proceedings were suspended after Hui refused to leave and his fellow lawmakers surrounded him to prevent his ouster, forcing Leung to suspend all business.

After over an hour of stand-off, Leung returned to the council briefly and announced the adjournment.

Earlier, in a surprise move earlier Land Justice League lawmaker Chu managed to delay further debate on the government motion by invoking a rarely used law.

He asked Leung to clear the press and the public from the chamber as the council was seeking to wrap up the debate. This threw a spanner in the works, forcing the council to take a brief break.

When the meeting resumed, Leung approved Chu's motion, saying he had no choice but to allow lawmakers to debate whether they agreed with removing the press. This meant a fresh debate, possibly lasting hours before a vote on the government's motion could take place.

Pro-government lawmakers, who were hoping to pass the motion on Thursday, slammed the move, saying Chu was wasting everyone's time.

The Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung also criticised Chu, saying his act was an "unbelievable" abuse of Legco rules.

Even some of the opposition lawmakers seemed to have been caught by surprise. Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai said he didn't know of his ally's plan beforehand, and he didn't agree with the move.

The Chief Executive Carrie Lam last week said that the government may start the process of bringing in the rail station proposal if a Legco vote is delayed too much. The National People's Congress Standing Committee is to consider the issue by end of the year.

Last month, Chu invoked another rare rule to demand a full debate on a banking bill the council was considering. That delayed the introduction of the government's non-binding motion on the express rail terminus plan.

The opposition is trying to delay the passing of the motion, as the government rejected their demands for a proper public consultation on the terminus plans.

Critics say allowing mainland officers to carry out immigration procedures at the station will contravene the Basic Law and the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

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Last updated: 2016-MM-DD HKT 19:01