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Carrie Lam: ‘No plans’ for new emergency laws to tackle Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong’s leader said on Tuesday she had no immediate plans to bring in more legislation by invoking emergency powers, after she imposed a mask ban on Friday that sparked further violent unrest.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor also said it was too early to judge whether the anti-mask law was effective in stopping protest violence, despite admitting “limitless and lawless” acts broke out over the weekend against the ban.

Speaking before meeting her advisers at the Executive Council on Tuesday morning, Lam said: “We currently have no plans to invoke the Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) again to make new laws.”

Under the ERO, the chief executive has tough colonial-era powers to enact new laws in an emergency or in the face of public danger, without first passing them through the Legislative Council.

Lam’s administration invoked those powers to impose a mask ban at public assemblies from 12.01am on Saturday in a bid to tackle protest violence, the first time the ordinance has been used in more than half a century.

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