The pro-establishment camp may find it ever more costly to back CY Leung for his possible re-election.
In politics, one day is too long. I was asked last week by our Bureau Chief, Alex Fok, to write an analysis on the consequences of the new LegCo. By the time this piece is published, however, the public discourse might already shift its focus on the CE’s under-the-table-deal with leaders of Yuen Long’s rural communities.
Having said that, I think it is still worthwhile to discuss what might possibly happen in the coming few months. It is nearly 100% certain there will be an Election Committee sub-sector elections followed by the Chief Executive election. It is reasonable to expect everything will be tied to the choice of Chief Executive and the LegCo will be one of the many arenas staging the contest.
Although the establishment camp is firmly in control of the new LegCo, there is rumour that they will not bar the other side from taking part in the governance of the legislature. It is highly likely to see the return of the time honouring legislative tradition for policy panels to be chaired by the establishment while the vice-chairmanship went to the opposition. It might seem to be a rational move on the part of the establishment camp to restore sanity and sensibility in the Council. But it also implies the establishment camp is deviating from the standing order to seize absolute control in the Council, which is rumoured to be given by the Chief Executive personally after the Umbrella Revolution. It is a signal that the closer it gets to the Chief Executive election, the less control CY Leung has on the establishment camp.
On the contrary, it is about time for the different fractions to make the policy wish list clear, publicly and through the Council. I expect there will be no more filibustering. It is not because Raymond Wong is voted out but that both the establishment camp and others will have to explicitly collude with each other in order to fail to meet the quorum requirement. The honorables will also be unlikely to give up valuable air time to make their statement and expectation on the next Chief Executive term.
There are already talk about invoking the so-called “P and P” (The Legislative Council Powers and Privileges Ordinance) to convene Select Committee to investigate on the incident regarding the development at Wang Chau. Even New People’s Party Chairperson Regina Ip might support such a call. This came despite the fact that she had recently stated that as a establishment camp member it was her duty to vote down the opposition’s call to convene select committee on incidents such as the lead contamination in water in public housing estates.
The wind has changed. I cannot see why the establishment camp has to risk their political credit to support CY Leung’s re-election. On the other hand it is time for all the potential candidates to appease to the members of the Election Committee (EC). Not only LegCo members are de-facto members of the EC, many of them are actually leaders of big voting blocs in many of the sub-sectors.
I will not be surprised many of the Umbrella Revolution groups will actively take part in the coming EC sub-sector elections, especially in the Second Sector representing the professional bodies. It is not impossible for the non-establishment camp to have more than 200 members in the EC. On the other hand, after suffering defeat in the New Territories East Geographical Constituency election, I have reasons to expect that the Liberal Party, which traditionally holds sway in the industrial, commercial and financial bodies in the First Sector, will make a spectacular comeback.
Although it is unlikely for the ‘ABC (Anyone-but-CY)’ alliance to take control of over 600 seats, the chance for CY to get re-elected becomes slimmer and slimmer as more scandals break. Let’s not forget that Eddie Chu has yet to be officially sworn into office but he has already disturbed the balance of power. The coming LegCo will be full of surprises and it is about time for us to pay some attention to our newly elected representatives.