Claims of backstabbing as DAB man loses to Emily Lau Legco firebrand Emily Lau Wai-hing yesterday retained her position as chairwoman of the Legislative Council's Finance Committee in dramatic fashion - by beating her rival in a drawing of lots after a tied vote. Ms Lau, of The Frontier, and Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, both received 25 votes in a secret ballot among the 50 lawmakers who attended the meeting. Under Legco rules, lots must be drawn in the case of a tied vote. Before the meeting, Mr Chan appeared confident that with 10 votes from his own party, the support of the Liberal Party, with 10 votes, and independent government allies and, crucially, the five votes of The Alliance, he would unseat Ms Lau. Ms Lau was flanked by only 20 of her traditional allies when the votes were cast. Members of The Alliance, who held a last-minute meeting outside the chamber just before the vote took place, would not confirm their voting intentions. While no political parties who claimed to have supported Mr Chan would admit making a U-turn, some lawmakers blamed the outcome on backstabbing among government allies. A jubilant Ms Lau jumped up from her seat when the ballot with her name was drawn from the box by Liberal Party chairman James Tien Pei-chun, who presided over proceedings. Ms Lau said her victory was proof that there was room for co-operation between political parties who opposed and supported the government. 'I have always been confident that I had enough votes in support of my re-election. The pro-government camp's support meant there is room for co-operation between us when necessary,' she said. Mr Chan, who was later elected deputy chairman of the committee, said he was surprised at the outcome, but he would not try to find out which of his supposed allies had betrayed him. 'Since everyone claimed they voted for me, I will not try to conduct a witch hunt. What we are talking about here is trust. How would I know what happened to the lost votes?' he said. After the vote, Abraham Razack, of The Alliance, insisted all five lawmakers in the group voted for Mr Chan. 'The result was not what we had expected,' he said. A source close to The Alliance said: 'There must be someone who played a big joke and blamed The Alliance for betraying Chan Kam-lam.' Mr Tien insisted all his party members supported Mr Chan. 'It was just pure luck that Emily's name was drawn from the lot.' What happened was almost a repeat of Ms Lau's victory in 2004, when she became chairwoman of the committee after getting the last-minute support of The Alliance. Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said it was apparent that a government-friendly party had stabbed the DAB in the back.