Pro-establishment lawmakers deliberately left the legislative chamber trying to create an insufficient quorum to force a delay on the vote, but miscalculated.
After noon yesterday, 31 members of the pro-establishment camp walked out of the chamber less than a minute before the vote, when Jeffrey Lam Kin- fung of the Business and Professionals Alliance asked his colleagues to wait for lawmaker and former Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat.
Theories abound that the pro-establishment lawmakers deliberately left the chamber to force a delay on the vote until next week and to disrupt the meeting, but instead it backfired. Others believe that it was planned as they did not want to see the limelight shifted to pan-democrats.
Others believe they wanted all 41 to be in the chamber to show unity.
City University’s political analyst James Sung Lap-kung said he did not believe the pro- establishment wanted to disrupt the meeting and delay the vote until next week.
Political commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu said the central government may punish pro- establishment lawmakers who walked out and tighten control over them.
Since Leung Chun-ying became chief executive, pro-establishment lawmakers and the government appear friendly but are in fact going separate ways. The walkout “stabbed” the government in the back, Lau said.
Ivan Choy Chi-keung, a political scientist at Chinese University, said the pro-establishment camp made a serious mistake in walking out before ensuring they could cast their votes.
There was already a bad relationship between the Liberal Party and Lam’s Business and Professionals Alliance that the “miscommunication” was bound to happen. Lam, Andrew Leung, Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, Lau Yau-fun and Lau Wong-fat quit the Liberals in 2008, reducing their Legco seats to three. Asia Times