'The words 'separation of powers' not in Basic Law' - RTHK
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'The words 'separation of powers' not in Basic Law'

2020-09-12 HKT 18:01
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  • Andrew Leung says though the term 'separation of powers' is not in the Basic Law, it does outline checks and balances between the three branches of governance. Photo: RTHK
    Andrew Leung says though the term 'separation of powers' is not in the Basic Law, it does outline checks and balances between the three branches of governance. Photo: RTHK
Legco President Andrew Leung said on Saturday that he can't see the words of "separation of powers" in the Basic Law text or any literature related to the city's mini-constitution.

Speaking in an RTHK programme, Leung said that upon reviewing the city's mini constitution, speeches by leaders like Deng Xiaoping and other relevant literature, "It's very clear after reading all the relevant documents; I can't see the specific term 'separation of powers' in any of these documents".

The principle of separation of powers had become a hotly debated controversy after Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said last month that the city does not have separation of powers, and it would be wrong for school textbooks to suggest it does.

Yeung's remarks – though contradicting earlier views of Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma and other legal scholars – were backed by the Chief Executive Carrie Lam and key pro-establishment figures.

Leung said there are sections in the Basic Law that outlines there are checks and balances – as well as cooperation – between the city's legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

Leung also told the programme he hopes all current lawmakers could stay on in the council during the extended Legco term, which has been extended after the government postponed the Legco election for one year, citing the coronavirus outbreak.

Pan-democrats are yet to decide whether they would stay on and have said that their decision would rest with a public-opinion survey to be conducted later this month.

Leung said he hopes lawmakers will continue to work for people in Hong Kong, and that the council will keep having diverse voices. But he said he will respect the choices of individual lawmakers.