Hong Kong political reform

DAB leader Starry Lee Wai-king says Hong Kong's pro-Beijing camp will 'learn the lesson' of bungled electoral reform vote

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 July, 2015, 3:07am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 July, 2015, 3:07am

The leader of the city's biggest political party apologised again last night for the pro-establishment camp's bungled vote on the government's electoral reform package last month.

Starry Lee Wai-king, chairwoman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the camp's walkout from the Legislative Council on June 18 just before the crucial vote was a mistake that "disappointed many".

She was speaking at the party's 23rd anniversary celebration, attended by Beijing representatives and top local officials.

"The mistake that the pro-establishment camp made in the voting process disappointed many of our supporters. We will learn the lesson, work hard and continue to improve ourselves to do a better job," Lee said.

On June 18, seconds before the historic vote on the government's political reform package, 31 pro-establishment lawmakers walked out of the chamber in the mistaken belief that voting would be suspended for 15 minutes so their ally, Lau Wong-fat, could make it in time for the vote.

Only eight Beijing loyalists voted for the package.

Lee reiterated that 28 lawmakers voted "no", meaning that even if the 31 had stayed, it would not have been enough to achieve the two-thirds majority needed to pass the package.

Those attending last night's event included Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and the government's 12 bureau chiefs or their deputies.

Leung made no mention of the failed reform package but praised the DAB and its close ties with the government.

"I hope it will continue to advise me on the government's and my work," he said.

Beijing's liaison office director, Zhang Xiaoming , was also in attendance but did not give a speech. On June 29, Zhang called on Hongkongers to look past the reform package debate and focus on economic and livelihood issues.