President of Legislative Council Andrew LEUNG has released the external legal advice of a senior counsel today on the issues caused by the failure of the House Committee to elect a chairperson and quickly end the gridlock. We agree with the related legal advice that the incumbent House Committee chairperson has the authority and responsibility to direct affairs of the House Committee before a chairperson is elected.
The external legal advice stated that although the incumbent chair has the authority of a chairperson, she must be cautious in exercising this power. What must be pointed out is that Dennis KWOK has blocked the chair election for six months and dealt with procedures irrelevant to the chair election, such as motions on the security arrangements, matters under the purview of the Legislative Council Commission as well as a number of non-bonding motions, which is ultra vires in counsel’s view. More importantly, the opposition has repeatedly expressed their intention to hinder the examination of the national anthem law by paralyzing the House Committee. This unprecedented situation has resulted in the failure of LegCo to effectively carry out its constitutional duty under Article 73 of the Basic Law. In a reasonably prudent manner, the incumbent chair has sufficient reasons to exercise her power to resume the operation of the House Committee.
We urge the incumbent chair of the House Committee to hold a meeting so soon as possible to deal with the backlog of work in the Committee.