HONG KONG - Hong Kong’s legislature adjourned on Thursday following the opposition’s blatant attempt to halt a debate seeking to revise the Rules of Procedure in order to remove filibustering loopholes.
Legislative Council President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the chaotic situation of the council is absolutely undesirable.
The debate, scheduled to start on Wednesday, didn’t start until Thursday afternoon owing to filibustering by the opposition camp. Consequently, the meeting was interrupted and suspended three times on Thursday when opposition legislators held placards and chanted loud slogans; at one stage all of them stood in front of the president’s podium.
Leung said he tried to mediate but no consensus could be reached by both sides.
According to the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance, anyone who interrupts a LegCo meeting is in violation of the ordinance, Leung noted.
The proposed resolution under Article 75 of the Basic Law was initiated by lawmaker Martin Liao Cheung-kong, convener of lawmakers from the pro-establishment camp.
The move came after the majority of legislators and society were frustrated by the long-standing filibustering tactics the opposition camp uses. They have constantly resorted to these tactics to frustrate the government’s major plans or derail operations of the legislature.
In 2015-16, Hong Kong witnessed a record number of 596 quorum bells as the major filibustering tactic by the opposition camp. Council meetings were halted for 115 hours in that legislative year.
Wang Yan contributed to this story.
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