Rita Fan to stay on as president of Legco

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am

Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai will stay on as president of the Legislative Council despite concerns over a possible conflict with her new role as Hong Kong deputy to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Her decision yesterday came after lawmakers gave near-unanimous support for her to remain as Legco president, despite the fact that she has formally taken leave from the Standing Committee and will not take part in any of its meetings between now and July 18, when Legco starts its summer recess.

Mrs Fan, elected to the nation's top legislative body this month, said she would poll her colleagues to see how she should handle her two potentially conflicting roles.

Fifty-one of the 59 other lawmakers replied to her survey, with one not expressing a stance and the other 50 supporting Mrs Fan continuing.

However, this came as no surprise, as leaders of the two main pan-democratic parties had said they did not intend to seek a replacement with so little time remaining in the legislative term, while government-friendly groups had never thought it an issue.

Mrs Fan said there had been suggestions from two lawmakers in the survey that if the Standing Committee made a decision regarding Hong Kong affairs, she should either excuse herself from presiding over the ensuing Legco debate or step down.

She said it was not worth speculating on hypothetical situations.

Mrs Fan has already indicated she will not seek re-election to Legco in September.