Albert Ho warns over suffrage
People should not be misled into thinking the question of universal suffrage had been resolved now that Beijing had laid down a timetable, Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said.
Speaking on yesterday's RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong, Mr Ho said the decisions taken allowing universal suffrage for the chief executive in 2017 and for the Legislative Council in 2020 did not provide much comfort.
This was because the nominating procedure might screen out chief executive candidates with dissenting views, he said.
'The election may be subject to a screening process to ensure there will be no real competition between politicians holding alternative platforms, and hence no meaningful choice for the voters,' he said.
He was also worried that Beijing and the Hong Kong government appeared to prefer retaining the trade-based functional constituency elections indefinitely. 'Hong Kong people should not be misled into thinking that the question of the timetable and road map for full democracy has been settled,' he said.
A spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said the decisions on the timetable would motivate different parties and individual lawmakers in Legco to work towards a consensus for implementing universal suffrage.
The spokesman stressed the government had not formed any views on the ultimate models for implementing universal suffrage.
The administration's aim was to settle the two electoral methods for 2012 within the tenure of the third-term government, the spokesman said.
After the Lunar New Year holiday, a group on constitutional development would be set up under the Commission on Strategic Development to begin talks on the two electoral methods for 2012, the spokesman added.