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NPCSC decision offers solution

By Gang Wen | | Updated: 2020-08-12 22:13
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The top legislature's decision to extend Hong Kong lawmakers' terms is the best solution to address the city's legislative vacuum caused by the election postponement, and various sectors of Hong Kong society agree with the move.

The remarks came after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress decided on Tuesday to let the sixth Legislative Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region continue performing duties for no less than a year until the seventh LegCo starts its four­-year term. The election was originally scheduled for Sept 6, before it was postponed because of the COVID­-19 pandemic.

Forty -two Hong Kong lawmakers said in a statement that the reasonable and legitimate arrangement was based entirely on the need to fight the pandemic. The decision can help minimize further bickering, allowing the public to concentrate on facing the coronavirus threat, they said.

They expressed the hope that all legislators who choose to remain can ensure the smooth functioning of the council for the welfare of the Hong Kong people.

Some lawmakers vowed to use the coming year to help restore Hong Kong's economy and improve people's livelihoods.

Lawmaker and barrister Priscilla Leung Mei-­fun told China Daily that the National People's Congress decision is constitutional and legitimate, adding that it has taken a "gentle"approach to this issue in the hope that Hong Kong will have a chance to calm down from its political discord.

Another lawmaker, Holden Chow Ho-­ding, told China Daily that the NPC Standing Committee made the simplest decision without giving any other instructions out of respect for Hong Kong. He said that LegCo and the SAR government need to study how to prevent opposition legislators from paralyzing the legislature again for their own political ends in the coming year.

Tung Chee-­hwa, former Hong Kong chief executive and a current vice­chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the decision was lawful, sensible, and reasonable. He said he fully supported it and believed that the people of Hong Kong will do the same.

Stanley Ng Chau­-pei, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, the city's largest labor group, said the decision was made to minimize social risk at a time when it is providing full support to Hong Kong in the fight against COVID­-19. Any suggestion that the move is politically motivated is groundless, he added.

Jonathan Choi Koon-­shum, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, said the decision contributed to social stability and avoided disputes as it was a special arrangement that does not require amendments to the Basic Law or interpretation by the national legislature. The decision also ensures continued functioning of the city's legislature and allows economic and livelihood issues to be addressed expeditiously, Choi said.

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