Security ramped up over fears complex may be stormed during debate but pan-democrats argue it risks undermining legislature’s independence
South China Morning Post
Date: Wednesday, 17 June, 2015
By: Tony Cheung, Clifford Lo and Joyce Ng
Ahead of today’s historic debate on electoral reform, police have taken the unprecedented step of stationing 200 officers inside the Legislative Council complex after intelligence suggested radicals were likely to storm the building.
Legco President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing said yesterday he and the Legco House Committee had accepted the recommendation by the police and allowed officers to enter and help maintain order.
“According to the police’s risk assessment, it is very likely some radicals will try to storm the Legco complex,” Tsang said.
“The secretariat also knows that a lot of people, with opposing political stances, will gather around the Legco complex, and clashes are possible. The debate could be affected too.”
The heightened security measures came a day after the city woke up to nerve-racking news of a radical group plotting to set off powerful explosives to cause chaos in the midst of Legco’s highly acrimonious debate on electoral reform.
Lawmakers will cross verbal swords over the Beijing-decreed reform bill for the 2017 chief executive election, in which voters get to choose from two or three pre-vetted candidates. The proposal needs a two-thirds majority to be passed but looks set to fail with 27 pan-democrats in the 70-member chamber sticking to their vow to vote against it tomorrow or Friday when the debate wraps up. [FULL STORY]