Lawmakers in battle to head Legco panels

Pan-democrats win some, but the pro-establishment camp retains 16 of 20 posts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 2:41pm

The pan-democratic camp allowed one of its own to win chairmanship on a Legislative Council panel yesterday after just one year as lawmaker.

Two other pan-democrats lost their bids to chair a Legco body as the pro-establishment camp, which held the majority in the legislature, insisted on keeping the status quo.

The new chairwoman was the Democratic Party's Helena Wong Pik-wan, who won the seat on the food safety and environmental hygiene panel after Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit decided not to seek another term.

But Dennis Kwok and Charles Mok, representing the legal and information technology sectors respectively, were defeated for the second year running.

Mok lost to fellow pan-democrat Wong Yuk-man, on eight votes to 12, despite contesting to chair the information technology and broadcasting panel.

"I'm not really surprised that some pro-establishment lawmakers voted for Wong again. Maybe he did a good job last year," Mok said. "I can only say that … as a member, I … will continue to do my work [to represent the IT sector.]"

Wong Yuk-man, together with two other experienced pan-democratic lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Cyd Ho Sau-lan, won another term as chairmen.

The pro-establishment camp retained 16 of the 20 chairmanships on Legco panels and subcommittees. Since panel chairmen are responsible for setting the agenda and calling meetings, the results highlight the camp's determination to keep an initiating role in the legislature.

The Beijing loyalists passed on chairmanships among their own people. For example, Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung made way for James Tien Pei-chun on the commerce and industry panel.

Chan Kam-lam gave up his chair to engineering-sector lawmaker Lo Wai-kwok on the public works subcommittee under the Finance Committee.

Most of the panel chairmen were re-elected or returned uncontested.

Kwok lost to Beijing loyalist Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun on the administration of justice and legal services panel.