Universal suffrage in Hong Kong

Pan-democrats agree answers on suffrage but don't call them model

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 July, 2007, 12:00am

Pan-democratic parties have agreed on the answers they want the public to give to six questions in the government's green paper on universal suffrage.

But they have decided to stop calling their preferred responses 'model answers' because they don't want people to think they are forcing a choice on them. Instead, they will promote 'recommended answers'.

The pan-democratic camp met yesterday and agreed each party should print leaflets carrying the recommended answers for distribution to the public over the summer, said Emily Lau Wai-hing, of The Frontier.

The parties will hold a rally in Central on Tuesday to publicise their answers. The leaflets will advise the public which of the components of universal suffrage to choose. Pan-democrats say they want to help the public understand the green paper. There are 486 possible combinations of answers to the six questions it contains.

The pan-democrats' recommendations include electing the chief executive and Legislative Council by universal suffrage in 2012; scrapping all Legco functional constituencies; and maintaining a low threshold for nominations of chief executive candidates.

The leaflets include spaces for people's names and identity card numbers. Respondents can either post the completed leaflets to the government or return them to the pan-democrats, who will pass them to the government. The parties will also explain details of their electoral reform proposals.

Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat said the party planned to print 100,000 leaflets.

'We will blend the campaign on the green paper with the district council election campaign. People will know our difference - that while the democrats fight for universal suffrage by 2012, the Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong wants it only by 2017,' Mr Lee said.