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CE offers apology, but no word on withdrawal

2019-06-18 HKT 16:07
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  • CE offers apology, but no word on withdrawal
The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, on Tuesday offered a public apology over the handling of the extradition bill, but made no mention of any withdrawal of the proposals from Legco, a key demand of the protesters.

Lam said at a press conference that she personally accepts responsibility for all the trouble that has happened over the extradition bill and offered her "most sincere apology to all the people of Hong Kong".

But she rejected calls for her to step down, saying there are plenty of livelihood and economic issues that her administration is committed to tackling.

Lam announced last Saturday that her government was pulling the bill from Legco for the time being, saying the suspension was needed to "restore peace and order" in Hong Kong.

When asked by reporters why she refused to withdraw the bill, Lam stressed her government has already halted the legislative process. "We will not proceed again with the legislative exercise until we have that level of confidence to address people's fears", she said.

Lam added that it's "very unlikely" that the government can re-table the bill before the current legislative term ends next year.

The Chief Executive had issued an apology statement on Sunday night, pledging to accept criticism in the most sincere and humble manner.

That brief statement was, however, rejected by protesters, with many accusing the SAR leader of lacking sincerity. They were also angry that she'd ignored their demands for the bill to be withdrawn, and for her to step down.

Many also want the government to retract its classification of last Wednesday’s clashes between protesters and police officers as a riot.

Lam reiterated Police Commissioner Stephen Lo’s earlier comment that only a few protesters took part in a riot. "My views are aligned with that of the commissioner," she said.

Last updated: 2019-06-18 HKT 16:32