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Legislative Council elections 2016

Trust may be built in Hong Kong’s new Legislative Council, Chan says

With tensions running high, former chief secretary calls on chief executive build trust and co-operation with all members from all political affiliations

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 11:32pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 August, 2016, 12:55pm

Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang has asked Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to grab the opportunity of a new Legislative Council term to build “more trust and co-operation” with all lawmakers, regardless of their political affiliations.

She also urged members of the Executive Council – Leung’s quasi cabinet – to hold regular meetings with legislators to listen to their views on policy issues.

Chan gave her advice on governance in a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club yesterday.

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She blamed Leung for the strained relations between the government and lawmakers.

“A great deal of the current tension between the executive and legislative arms of the ­government is due to the intransigence of [Leung Chun-ying],” Chan said.

“It is perhaps even more important that the chief executive demonstrates greater willingness to embrace all members of the Legislative Council, irrespective of their political affiliations, in the governance of Hong Kong.’’

She cited last year’s proposal by the Democratic Party’s Emily Lau Wai-hing for a cross-party coalition on livelihood issues, which was not acted upon.

This reinforced “the suspicion that the government would prefer to continue to divide and rule, rather than promote a more cohesive and harmonious culture among lawmakers,” Chan said.

Pan-democrats stepped up their non-cooperation campaign against the Leung administration after Beijing refused to allow Hong Kong what they considered “genuine universal suffrage” under a political reform package in 2014.

“The incoming Legislative Council offers a fresh start to building more trust and co-operation,” she said.

Chan served as chief secretary during the administration of former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, but quit in 2001 amid speculation that she did not get along well with Tung.

Since then, she has been a vocal critic of the government.