Carrie Lam aborts speech after being heckled by lawmakers wearing Xi Jinping masks
A closely-watched speech.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had to abandon her annual policy address on Wednesday, Oct. 16 after she was jeered by some lawmakers as she began speaking.
The lawmakers yelled “Five demands, not one less” as they heckled Lam.
It resulted in an unprecedented cancellation of such a speech in the legislature of the Chinese-ruled city.
The speech was closely watched as Lam was set to announce a raft of property initiatives.
This was a bid to restore confidence in her administration after more than four months of protests.
The heckling forced the meeting to be adjourned twice.
She will deliver the address via video at 12.15pm, according to a statement from the government.
Some of the lawmakers wore masks of Chinese President Xi Jinping inside the chamber as they held up posters calling for the five demands to be met.
Security was very tight ahead of Lam’s third policy address, with riot police stationed outside and water cannon on standby.
The address is an annual speech at the opening of the city’s legislature where the pro-Beijing leader lays out policies and Bills for the year ahead.
Lam currently boasts historically low approval ratings.
There is huge pressure on her to unveil flagship measures that might quell some of the anger on the streets.
However, Lam stuck to her oft-repeated stance at a Tuesday briefing that it would unacceptable to bend to violent demonstrations.
“For concessions to be made simply because of escalating violence will only make the situation worse. On the other hand, we should consider every means to end the violence,” she said.
Lam is facing immense pressure to regain trust and resolve the city’s biggest political crisis in years.
“Blood on her hands”
Legislator Tanya Chan said Lam was to blame for causing Hong Kong’s chaos and suffering over the past four months.
“Both her hands are soaked with blood,” an emotional Chan told a news conference after the policy session.
“We hope Carrie Lam withdraws and quits. She has no governance ability … she is not suitable to be chief executive.”