Pan-democrats wary over motion of no confidence in appointee row

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 June, 2008, 12:00am

The pan-democratic camp is taking a cautious stance on the Democratic Party's intention to move a motion of no confidence in Norman Chan Tak-lam, head of the Chief Executive's Office, who has played a key role in recruiting political appointees.

The Frontier's Emily Lau Wai-hing warned that the motion required serious consideration, while Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said the party would observe further developments in the row.

Stephen Lam Sui-lung, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, yesterday refused to pledge that the government would seek approval from the legislature for any possible salary adjustments.

Mr Chan has declined an invitation to attend a Legislative Council panel meeting, and has been accused of filling the positions with allies. The intention to move a motion of no confidence was announced by Democrat Lee Wing-tat on Monday.

Ms Lau said the camp had yet to discuss the details of the proposed motion.

'We have to be very careful,' she said. 'It is a serious matter, which requires further consideration in the camp. If a motion of no confidence is moved, it should be against the chief executive then.'

Frederick Fung Kin-kee, former chairman of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, said the party had yet to discuss whether to support the motion.

At a Legco general meeting, independent lawmaker Anson Chan Fang On-sang urged the administration to seek approval from the legislature regarding the standards of the appointees' midterm review and possible salary adjustments.

Mr Lam replied: '[The new team] was approved by the legislature earlier. We will try to work within the approved area.'

Mr Lee questioned why no deputy ministers had appeared in Legco after taking up their new posts. 'They earn more than HK$200,000 and none of them appear in the legislature to answer questions when the ministers are on holiday.'

Mr Lam said deputy ministers needed more time to familiarise themselves with their duties.



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