Chief 'must be reproachable'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 June, 1997, 12:00am

Post-1997 legislators should be able to censure the Chief Executive as they had criticised the Governor, Mr Patten said.

Censured by Legco in June 1994 over his refusal to freeze rates, Mr Patten said he regarded the episode as part of the development of representative institutions.

'I hope after July 1 that the Chief Executive won't do anything which encourages legislators to condemn him.

'But I hope, if he ever makes a mistake or does anything which legislators want to condemn, that they will still be able to do so.' According to the Basic Law, future Legco members can pass a resolution with a two-thirds majority to impeach the chief executive if there is a dereliction of duty or serious breach of law.

Mr Patten said his main regret in his five-year reign was his failure to convince Chinese leaders to trust Hong Kong people, accounting for the failure of his electoral reform package.

'So maybe my ambition, my aspiration was always likely to be dashed,' he said. 'This is probably the only example of decolonisation where after 150 years, when finally colonial administration comes to an end, there is going to be less democracy afterwards rather than more.' But Mr Patten said he was confident Hong Kong would eventually become a more democratic and free society.

'Hong Kong's future is going to be determined by the people of Hong Kong,' he said.

'And those who believe in freedom and those who believe in democracy are, in my judgment, on the winning side.'