Hong Kong extradition law: government may pause passage of fugitive bill

Hong Kong extradition law: government may pause passage of fugitive bill

A source told SCMP that Beijing officials were discussing the pros and cons of pausing the legislation

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Would such an announcement affect tomorrow's planned rally?
Photo: SCMP/Robert Ng

SCMP has learned that the Hong Kong government will hit the pause button on passing the controversial extradition bill as early as Saturday afternoon, after Beijing officials in charge of the city’s affairs held meetings in Shenzhen to map a viable way out of the impasse.

It is understood that the officials were assessing the pros and cons of pausing the legislation or going ahead rather than a total withdrawal of the bill.

Another source confirmed Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor held a late-night meeting with key government officials in the city and would hold another one on Saturday morning to go over similar options.

It is not clear whether pausing the passage of the legislation will affect the decision of anti-extradition protesters to continue with their planned rally on Sunday.
 
On Friday evening, the Civil Human Rights Front, which organised last weekend’s march, and pan-democratic lawmakers made it clear a delay would not be enough. Nothing short of scrapping the bill would be acceptable, they said.

 

They revealed their stance as, throughout Friday, signs emerged from the government side that there was no consensus in the Executive Council, which advises the city’s leader, on whether to press ahead or hit the pause button the bill.


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