Lawmakers brawl at Hong Kong parliament

A disorderly lawmaker (C) is taken away during a parliamentary meeting in Hong Kong on May 8, 2020. (Photo by AFP)
Lawmakers get into scuffles at Hong Kong’s parliament amid efforts by some of them to interfere with the legislature’s routine procedures.

The brawl erupted on Friday as some MPs were trying to force the parliament into electing a chairman for a legislative committee before any laws could be put up for discussion, various news agencies reported.

The fight prompted creation of a two-row-thick security cordon behind which Starry Lee of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong was trying to chair the meeting, Reuters said.

The disorderly MPs were seen attacking other lawmakers as well as the security cordon before several of them were expelled from the building.

China has been outraged by occasional disturbance created at the parliament by some lawmakers, who have been resorting to filibuster and other disruptive actions to prevent the legislature from performing its duties.

Beijing has denounced the disruptive efforts as “malicious.”

The Asian financial hub was rocked in 2019 by months of massive anti-government protests over a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed suspected criminals to be sent from Hong Kong to mainland China for trial.

The protesters often heavily vandalized shops and public property and attacked citizens believed to be pro-government.

However, since the government imposed a ban on public meetings at the end of March to curb the coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong has been relatively calm.
There was only one instance of unrest when Hong Kong riot police dispersed a crowd of 300 protesters, some wearing black, late last month.

Hong Kong has been governed under a “one-country, two-system” model since the city, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997.

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