'Rule changes to give pro-govt camp total control' - RTHK
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'Rule changes to give pro-govt camp total control'

2020-11-04 HKT 14:22
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  • Alvin Yeung says the pro-establishment could stamp out filibustering in Legco, but this wouldn't placate the Hong Kong people. Photo: RTHK
    Alvin Yeung says the pro-establishment could stamp out filibustering in Legco, but this wouldn't placate the Hong Kong people. Photo: RTHK
Frances Sit reports
Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung claimed on Wednesday that the pro-establishment camp is seeking total control over Legco, with its move to amend the legislature's house rules to further curb filibustering.

Changes proposed by the DAB’s Horace Cheung include amending the election process for the chair and vice-chair positions of various committees.

Cheung, who's a member of Legco's committee on rules of procedure, suggests that legislators should be required to make nominations in writing to the Legco Secretariat ahead of the elections.

He also says the chairperson of the House Committee should appoint somebody new to preside over an election, if a committee fails to pick a chairperson after 30 minutes' of meeting time.

Pro-democracy lawmakers have commonly used delaying tactics during these elections, by raising procedural questions and nominating each other for the chairmanship.

But speaking to RTHK, the Civic Party leader criticised the pro-establishment camp's move, saying the changes would further slash the legislature's power to monitor the government.

Yeung was asked if he is worried that his rivals are clearing the way for the vetting of controversial plans, like election law changes which would allow voting stations to be set up on the mainland.

"They're basically using all different avenues to achieve one thing, that is total and complete control of Legco. They may end filibustering here in Legco, but they cannot end controversies or calm people by changing the rules," he replied.

Yeung noted that the pro-establishment camp has successfully changed Legco rules before, but that this did not lead to a more peaceful Legco – or Hong Kong.

But speaking on the same RTHK programme, Business and Professionals Alliance lawmaker Priscilla Leung said the pro-establishment camp has already been very restrained with its suggestions, saying the proposed amendments are only slight changes.

Leung said her rivals have been abusing Legco procedures and wasting time with their delaying tactics, and the changes would allow legislators to move forward on important social issues.

The chairman of the committee on rules of procedure, pro-government lawmaker Paul Tse, said legislators would be consulted over the coming two weeks, before the proposals are handed over for voting in the House Committee.

Tse said he expected the proposed amendments to be dealt with by the end of the year.