The legislature’s House Committee, which vets bills and decides when to present them for a final vote, had been without a chairperson for more than six months. The central government in Beijing criticized deputy chairperson and pro-democracy lawmaker Dennis Kwok for deliberately delaying matters and causing a backlog of bills that affect public interest.
Mr. Kwok was replaced on May 15 by Chan Kin-por, who was appointed by the legislature’s president to preside over the election on May 18. After scuffles and shouting matches, leading to Mr. Chan ejecting most of the pro-democracy lawmakers, the election took place with pro-Beijing lawmaker Starry Lee winning easily.
At the meeting on May 18, pro-democracy lawmakers held up placards that read “Abuse of Power” and “CCP tramples HK legislature,” referring to China’s ruling Communist Party. Within minutes, at least five lawmakers were ejected for disorderly behaviour, with at least one lying injured on the ground as the meeting was briefly suspended.