Hong Kong’s legislative council descended into extraordinary scenes on Friday, with opposing lawmakers throwing placards and scrambling over one another to take management of a home committee that has been unable to elect a brand new chairperson.
The scuffles started after an earlier assembly ended and legislators rushed to take the empty seat, greater than an hour earlier than the home committee session was resulting from begin. The incumbent committee chair, Starry Lee, reached the seat first and was surrounded by safety guards.
Professional-Beijing and pro-democracy members crowded in, with chaos escalating and lasting for greater than an hour.
A lawmaker and social activist, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, bodily tried to climb a wall and go over the pro-Beijing crowd to succeed in the chair.
Chu was bodily faraway from the room by 4 safety guards, every holding one limb. Others had been proven to be dragged or knocked down, and pro-democracy legislator, Claudia Mo, who was standing away from the melee, seemed to be hit within the head by a flying placard.
Answerable for the microphone, Lee banished pro-democracy members from the room and issued warnings to them about breaching procedural legal guidelines.
Lee denied she had “seized energy”, saying that because the incumbent, she had the obligation to conduct the assembly and resolve points.
“I’m nonetheless the chairperson of the home committee. There is no such thing as a such [claim] that I’ve no energy to chair the assembly,” she mentioned.
The assembly was suspended for a couple of minutes to permit for medical therapy of individuals injured.
The chaos associated to current gridlock over electing a chair of the committee in order that it will probably transfer to passing laws, a few of it extremely controversial.
Two payments had been reportedly included within the authorities’s deliberate “pressing enterprise” for the afternoon assembly.
One is a controversial invoice to criminalise disrespect of the nationwide anthem, whereas the opposite is the long-shelved article 23 nationwide safety legal guidelines which sparked mass protests in 2003 and which Beijing has recently called for the urgent reintroduction of.
Opposition teams have been filibustering for not less than 15 consecutive conferences presided over by Dennis Kwok, stopping the election of a brand new chairperson and prompting an extraordinary statement from Beijing’s most senior offices in Hong Kong accusing them, and particularly Kwok, of misconduct.
Delays continued on Friday, with two items of conflicting authorized recommendation introduced claiming Starry Lee each may and couldn’t take care of committee issues as incumbent chair whereas standing for re-election.
An earlier session of the committee insisted no enterprise could possibly be dealt with till there was a brand new chairperson put in. After taking the chair, Lee tried to drive the assembly ahead regardless.
Friday’s melee drew comparisons to related scenes final 12 months over Hong Kong’s proposed extradition invoice which sparked months of mass protests, typically with tens of millions on the road, that are anticipated to start once more as concern over the pandemic diminishes.
Bodily clashes had been anticipated once more, with the assembly organisers reportedly getting ready an alternate room.
— to www.theguardian.com