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Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 01:01

DAB lawmaker eager to curb filibustering

By Joseph Li
DAB lawmaker eager to curb filibustering

Chan Han-pan, an incumbent lawmaker seeking re-election in the New Territories West constituency, said the Legislative Council’s Rules of Procedure should be amended to curb misuse of rules and stop filibusters. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Chan Han-pan, an incumbent lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) who is seeking re-election in Sunday’s poll, says the election provides an opportunity to curb rampant filibustering in the Legislative Council.

Chan adds that if pro-establishment lawmakers can get more than half of the seats in both geographical and functional constituencies, they can start revising the LegCo Rules of Procedure. This will mean curbing misuse of rules and stopping filibusters.

Likewise, the Finance Committee Procedure should also be amended to limit the number of motions that can be moved without prior notice to a more reasonable number. It is also to prevent other forms of filibusters, Chan added.

“We respect lawmakers’ right to speak but the opposition camp should not abuse the Rules of Procedure,” he said.

Chan, who competes in the New Territories West constituency of the LegCo election, admits he faces a tough campaign.

It is Chan’s wish that the pro-establishment camp could win four, and hopefully five, seats in New Territories West, which will produces nine seats in total, he told China Daily.

Overall, he wants more pro-establishment lawmakers in the LegCo chamber. They are a steady force to counter the rise of separatism and filibusters in LegCo.

In the 2012-16 LegCo term, the DAB owns 13 seats, including three from New Territories West. As DAB ex-chairman Tam Yiu-chung retires, the party plays safe, fielding only two candidates in the constituency this time.

As a result of reduced seats from seven to six in Hong Kong Island constituency, the DAB may lose two geographical seats. It hopes for an extra “super seat” from the District Council (Second) functional constituency, but it will still be one seat less.

Chan campaigns together with party colleague Holden Chow Ho-ding who runs in the “super seat” contest. They adopt a “1+1” strategy, with election pamphlets and banners bearing both names, and sometimes campaign together near MTR stations.

“It is very important that (DAB colleague) Leung Che-cheung, Michael Tien Puk-sun (New People’s Party), Alice Mak Mei-kuen (Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions) and I retain the seats. Junius Ho Kwan-yiu may win the fifth seat for the pro-establishment camp because he enjoys a higher poll rating,” he explained.

Chan added: “I have been serving in this constituency for many years. I hope people who voted for the DAB will continue to vote for us. If we lose seats, our strength to combat filibusters and meetings being aborted in LegCo will diminish.”

Candidates for the New Territories West constituency are Wong Yun-tat, Wan Siu-kin, Ko Chi-fai, Chow Wing-kan, Cheng Chung-tai, Kwong Koon-wan, Tien Puk-sun, Ho Kwan-yiu, Leung Che-cheung, Kwok Ka-ki, Wong Ho-ming, Lee Cheuk-yan, Wong Chun-kit, Mak Mei-kuen, Fung Kin-kee, Chan Han-pan, Cheung Wai-ching, Lui Chi-hang, Tong Wing-chi and Chu Hoi-dick.

Candidates in District Council (Second) constituency are, Lee Wai-king, Chow Ho-ding, Wong Kwok-hing, To Kun-sun, Kwong Chun-yu, Ho Kai-ming, Chan Yuen-sum, Kwan Wing-yip and Leung Yiu-chung.

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