Selection Committee hopefuls to be vetted

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 May, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 May, 1996, 12:00am

People nominated for the Selection Committee will be vetted for their eligibility before being admitted to a shortlist of contenders, according to a Preparatory Committee report.

But ultimate responsibility for the elimination process will be vested in the chairman and nine vice-chairmen of the Beijing-appointed Preparatory Committee or their appointees.

This was revealed in a 13-page report summing up opinions expressed in a territory-wide consultation last month on how the Selection Committee should be formed.

It stated that many participants thought it necessary to vet qualifications of those being nominated to help choose the chief executive and the provisional legislature.

'They believed candidates have to meet certain requirements because the Selection Committee relates to the whole work of setting up the Special Administrative Region and the fate of Hong Kong people,' it said.

The criteria to be applied in the culling process was not outlined but the Preparatory Committee over the weekend adopted the principle that candidates must be 'willing to carry out their duty' to name both the chief executive and the provisional legislature.

The Basic Law stipulates only that they have to be permanent residents of the territory.

Some suggested that groups eligible to submit candidates could first vet their nominees themselves.

The report said: 'Candidates should just fill in a standard form declaring their qualifications, although a meeting of the chairman and vice-chairmen will reserve the ultimate vetting power.

'Others thought the chairman and vice-chairmen should be wholly responsible for the vetting, because such a vetting body should have a comprehensive understanding to deal with some complicated and sensitive issues.' Vice-Premier Qian Qichen is the chairman, and among the nine vice-chairmen are the Director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Lu Ping , the Director of the local branch of Xinhua (the New China News Agency), Zhou Nan , Executive Councillor Tung Chee-hwa and vice-chairmen of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Ann Tse-kai and Henry Fok Ying-tung.

Another option was for the Preparatory Committee to establish a sub-group.

But it gave no further details about how a special sub-group would be composed, how it would operate or to whom it would report.

The report said most people favoured ensuring there were 480 and 600 candidates to fill the 400 Selection Committee seats.

It said others wanted more candidates to make the process of choosing of committee more democratic.

'Those who were not chosen would not feel any loss of face because they were having to compete with many more people,' it said.