Pan-democrats plan flood of filibusters
Another mammoth filibuster is looming up again after pan-democrats on Friday revealed their plan to raise a vast number – some 270,000 – amendments to stall a proposal to block filibusters in the Legislative Council’s finance committee.
The move is to counter pro-government lawmaker Ip Kwok-him’s proposal to limit legislators to moving no more than one motion without prior notice. His proposal will be discussed on January 25.
Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said Ip’s plan was a rude attempt to take away lawmakers’ rights to scrutinise bills.
Albert Chan Wai-yip, from another pan-democrat group People Power, expected it would take at least 303 days for the chamber to finish debate on the load of amendments even if they held 24-hour meetings everyday.
Ip, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, sought to block filibusters after People Power used the tactic last summer in an effort to force the government to withdraw a government to change by-election rules.
A marathon debate on 1,300 amendments to the electoral proposal last May came to a surprise end. For the first time, Legco president Tsang Yok-sing used powers in the rules of procedure to halt the debate.
The number of amendments, 270,000, represents, according to the pan-democrats, the number of possible additions or changes in the wording of a bill.