Legislative Council elections 2016

DAB leader says she is ‘willing to communicate’ with pan-dems

Starry Lee Wai-king said there could be “coordination” in deciding who should chair the new Legislative Council’s various committees

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2016, 11:00pm

The pro-establishment camp has extended an olive branch to its rivals as one of its leaders talked of “coordination” in deciding who should chair the new Legislative Council’s various committees.

Starry Lee Wai-king said she is considering running for the No 2 position in the Legco, chair of the House Committee, which is ­responsible for making preparations for full council meetings and deciding whether to form a bills committee to scrutinise particular pieces of legislation.

Speaking about the party’s plans for the new Legco term yesterday, the leader of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong said she would be “willing to communicate” with the pan-democrats.

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“You can take it like that,” she said, when asked by a reporter if she was extending a friendly gesture to the rival camp. “But I emphasise this is a normal working relationship between our side and the pro-democracy camp.”

The DAB now holds 12 seats, the biggest party in the Legco.

At the beginning of the 2012 term, Lee’s camp took control of all three key posts, including Legco president and chairmanships of the House Committee and the Finance Committee.

It differed from past practice as each camp would take up posts in proportion to the number of seats they won. Pan-democrats, in the critical minority, were able to hold key posts.

The pro-Beijing camp however, took control of 14 of the 18 panels, leaving pan-democrats to chair the panels on environment, information technology, manpower and food and environmental hygiene.

But at the start of the mid-term in 2014, the pro-Beijing camp seized the lead posts of all the panels, plunging the relationship between the two sides to a new low.

The pan-democrats were to blame for the move, Lee said yesterday, as her camp was only reacting after being crowded out of the subcommittees responsible for pre-vetting funding requests. “I am hoping for a new start,” she said.

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Lee said she was not interested in running for Legco president.

James To Kun-sun, convenor of the Democratic Party’s seven lawmakers, said the posts should be allocated between the two camps proportionately.

His camp would compete with pro-Beijing colleagues for posts, To’s colleague Wu Chi-wai added.

Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, of People Power, said a communication platform would be needed for traditional pan-democrats and their new localist colleagues.

Meanwhile, the DAB leader disagreed with an earlier remark made by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

He said last week that he was glad to see some candidates who had campaigned for his removal had been voted out.

“The fact is some campaigning for that were elected, while some were not,” Lee said.