Change LegCo meeting rules to beat abuse: Pauline Ng

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK -

in Hong Kong, it is 50 per­cent — 35 of 70 law­mak­ers — mak­ing meet­ings more likely to ad­journ af­ter a quo­rum call.

There have been calls in so­ci­ety to amend the quo­rum rule that the bell should be rung only at the start of a meeting and dur­ing vot­ing to make it in line with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. Such amend­ments re­quire the ap­proval of law­mak­ers from both the ge­o­graph­i­cal and func­tional con­stituen­cies at the ple­nary meeting.

In the past, it was dif­fi­cult to pass such an amend­ment be­cause the “pan-democrats” re­turned by ge­o­graph­i­cal elec­tions had slightly out­num­bered their ri­vals. But now with four di­rec tly-elec ted “pan-democrats” dis­qual­i­fied be­cause of their fail­ure to take oaths as re­quired, amend­ing the rules seems pos­si­ble.

Amend­ments to the Rules of Pro­ce­dure are on­go­ing, but t h e “p a n - d e m o c r a t s ” h av e kept op­pos­ing them. There­fore, amend­ments should be made by a near con­sen­sus in the leg­is­la­ture to en­sure the new ar­range­ment is mu­tu­ally ac­cept­able, in­stead of one camp press­ing for amend­ments sim­ply with an ad­e­quate num­ber of votes, Ng said.

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

For­mer sec­re­tary-gen­eral of Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil Sec­re­tar­iat Pauline Ng Man-wah says loop­holes in the LegCo Rules of Pro­ce­dure should be ad­dressed to curb fu­ture fil­i­bus­ter­ing.

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