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Pro-government lawmakers to head majority of Legco panels

Tuesday, 16 October, 2012, 7:49pm

Lai Ying-kit

SCMP/RTHK Hong Kong’s Top Story 2012

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Lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun attends the election for the chairman and deputy chairman of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services of Legislative Council in Tamar. Leung was elected as the chairman of the panel. Photo: KY Cheng

Pro-government lawmakers were elected on Tuesday to chair 16 of the 20 panels and subcommittees in the Legislative Council for the coming four years.

In one key new acquisition, the pro-government camp won the chairmanship of the legal services panel for the first time in years.

Dr Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, of Professional Forum, beat the Civic Party’s Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, the legal sector lawmaker, by 19 votes to 13 in a poll by panel members.

The position had been held by pan-democrats and legal sector lawmakers for many years.

The 16 panels won by pro-government lawmakers included financial affairs, public works, industry and commerce, and housing and constitutional affairs.

Pan-democrats took the reins of only four panels: information technology and broadcasting, environmental affairs, manpower, and food safety and environmental hygiene.

Last week the pro-establishment camp won three other key positions in the legislature. Jasper Tsang Yok-sing was re-elected Legco president while pro-business lawmakers won the chairmanships of the finance and the house committees.

Chinese University political scientist Ivan Choy Chi-keung said the pro-government camp was trying to prevent future filibusters by pan-democrats, by taking tighter control of panel meetings.

Choy said Tuesday’s vote results might intensify the struggle between the pan-democrat and pro-government camps, leading to more street protests.

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