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Pan-dems urge tripartite talks, rivals agree

2019-05-14 HKT 11:31
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  • Pan-dems urge tripartite talks, rivals agree
  • Pro-Beijing lawmaker Abraham Shek says he didn't want to see any more chaos, so he gave up on holding the meeting. Photo: RTHK
    Pro-Beijing lawmaker Abraham Shek says he didn't want to see any more chaos, so he gave up on holding the meeting. Photo: RTHK
Timmy Sung reports
Rival camps in Legco on Tuesday were looking for a way out of deadlock at the bills committee on extradition laws, after another failed attempt by government supporters to hold a meeting on the issue on Tuesday morning.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Abraham Shek, who his camp and the Legco secretariat say is to preside over the committee meetings, was thwarted from reconvening the panel again, while their rivals held their own meeting.

Shek tried to go into a conference room twice, but eventually gave up, saying he didn't want to see a repeat of the chaotic scenes that happened on Saturday. Shek said he would write to House Committee chair, Starry Lee from the DAB party, later on Tuesday to seek her directions.

Democratic Party lawmaker James To, who the pro-democracy camp say has already been elected as chair of the bills committee, called for a tripartite meeting between his camp, their rivals and government officials.

He said the three sides owe it to the Hong Kong people to sit down and resolve the matter.

To said there is no reason why the three sides cannot talk.

He said his camp is willing to show sincerity in trying to resolve the conflict by not giving the government a deadline, and that he himself would not attend any talks if his chairmanship of the bills committee is questioned by the administration.

A convenor of the pro-government camp, Martin Liao, said they are open to dialogue. The only prerequisite, he said, is that the representatives at the talks should be able to make decisions on behalf of their camps, otherwise it would be a waste of everyone's time.

Liao said there had been talks on this issue before, and he welcomes more going forward.

The convenor of the pro-democracy camp, Claudia Mo, said they are ready to sit down and discuss a way out with their rivals – but they would not agree to seeking further guidance from the House Committee.

She said any options put forward by the House Committee would all likely involve bypassing the bills committee completely.

Mo said pro-democracy lawmakers would also march to the Chief Executive's Office on Tuesday afternoon to demand a meeting with Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Mo said the ball is now in the government's court, and the Hong Kong leader should change her mind about not meeting them.

Lam said earlier that she needs time to study the demands of the pro-democracy camp. She did not say anything about holding three-way talks, but said her administration would continue to listen to different opinions.

Legco president Andrew Leung, meanwhile, said all parties were responsible for the current impasse in Legco and he hopes talks can be held to find a way out. He said he was willing to get involved if necessary but he has to maintain his neutrality in the affair.