Lawmakers on both sides were engaged in sharp exchanges time and again on Thursday with the opposition trying to stall debate on changing Legco rules and their actions being compared to tactics of the Taliban by their rivals.
The debate got off to a fitful start with pan-democrats challenging president Andrew Leung’s ruling to limit each lawmaker's time to speak and they repeatedly tried to stall the debate.
The meeting was suspended for two hours, after the pan-democrats sought to negotiate more time to speak on the proposals.
But their request was rejected by the Legco president and the pro-establishment camp. Councillors are only being given 15 minutes each to speak on the 54 proposed rule amendments.
As the debate got underway again, the opposition continued to interrupt proceedings. At one point, the pro-establishment camp’s Paul Tse compared the opposition’s efforts to “violent filibustering like the Taliban”, evoking further protests by his rivals.
The debate had started shortly before 11am and by 6pm, only two lawmakers had actually taken part in it. The second lawmaker, Alvin Yeung, promptly asked for an adjournment, saying it would allow time for the different factions to calm down so they could engage in rational discussion.