Chief to 'listen humbly' to impeachment attempt
Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has promised to 'listen humbly' as he faces the first move to impeach a chief executive since the establishment of the special administrative region.
Twenty pan-democratic lawmakers endorsed a motion to impeach Tsang yesterday after he survived a non-binding vote of no confidence in the Legislative Council on Thursday.
The impeachment motion accuses him of conflict of interest in accepting hospitality from tycoon friends on private jet and yacht trips, as well his plan to rent a luxury penthouse in Shenzhen from businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau.
Tsang said yesterday: 'I will listen humbly to all the opinions raised by the public, and remember firmly to remind myself to do my best in my remaining work. I will correct [any mistakes] and strive to improve.' He said he would respect the rights of legislators.
The no-confidence motion failed under the split-voting system after being defeated 11-4 in the functional constituencies despite passing 14-7 in the geographical constituencies.
The impeachment motion, expected to be debated on May 16 subject to the approval of council president Tsang Yok-sing, would also require passage separately by both constituencies.
Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, who initiated the motion, said its aim was to express a clear demand for a clean government.
But he conceded it had only a slight chance of being passed as pro-establishment lawmakers - who have said any such move should await the result of an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption - were likely to oppose it.
Civic Party lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, who had said her party earlier opposed such a move as it should be a 'last resort', now endorsed it.
'Tsang failed to clear the doubts in a special question-and-answer session in Legco earlier.
'The lawmakers also opposed a full-scale investigation under the Powers and Privileges Ordinance and a no-confidence vote. [Impeachment is now] the last resort we can take,' said Eu.
Passage of such a motion would launch an investigation led by the chief justice into allegations against Tsang.
If the investigation found the accusations valid, passage of a motion by a two-thirds majority would be required to report the matter to the central government for a decision.