Hong Kong Lawmakers Defeat Motion to Probe Leader Leung

Hong Kong’s legislature defeated a motion to investigate allegations that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying promised a government position to a member of a committee that picked him as city leader last year.

The motion, the second opposition attempt in as many months to start an investigation against Leung, comes before Leung’s government delivers its first budget next week. Since he took office last July, opposition lawmakers have sought Leung’s resignation over the alleged job offer and illegal additions at his home.

The political battle has hindered Leung’s effort to focus on bridging Hong Kong’s record wealth gap and making homes more affordable. In a policy address last month, Leung pledged to increase the housing supply, provide more elderly care and clean up pollution.

Last month, Lew Mon-hung, a member of the election committee that picked Leung as the city’s top official last March, told magazine iSunAffairs Weekly that Leung promised him a government position and recommendation to China’s political advisory body.

“The new information points to very serious criminal offenses, and we can’t sit back and do nothing,” Cyd Ho, a lawmaker from the Labour Party who introduced the motion, said at the opening of the debate. “Hong Kong shouldn’t be governed by a chief executive who leaves such serious doubts in the people’s minds.”

Lew’s allegations were “nothing new and nothing true,” Leung said in an interview broadcast on ATV’s Newsline program Jan. 27. The Hong Kong government said Feb. 8 it will delegate powers to a prosecutor to decide whether action is needed in the case.

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