Constitution to the fore as C.Y. hosts democrats
Tony Cheung and Tanna Chong
Pan-democrats planned to corner Leung Chun-ying on universal suffrage and other constitutional issues during a two-hour meeting with the chief executive-elect last night.
Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said he would ask Leung about the nomination threshold for the chief executive poll in 2017.
'If there must be a nomination committee, there should be better representation for the general public,' Lee said. 'Could the nomination requirement be lowered to 50,000 signatures?'
Democratic Party lawmaker Lee Wing-tat said he planned to raise government restructuring and housing with Leung at the meeting.
'We are concerned about the arrangement for political assistants ... in fact any kind of expansion of the political appointment system should be made only after a thorough consultation,' he said.
The head of Leung's office, Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, said on Saturday that the 14 policy bureaus - including new bureaus for information technology and culture - would be given lump sums for hiring political assistants.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said he would question Leung over legislation on Article 23 of the Basic Law, on national security, the abolition of Legislative Council functional constituencies and the perceived intervention of Beijing's liaison office in local affairs.
More than a dozen pan-democratic lawmakers were attending the meeting, including Democratic Party chairman and defeated chief executive candidate Albert Ho Chun-yan.
Leung was meanwhile criticised by pan-democrats for inviting the leader of the main pro-Beijing party to a meeting with a pressure group on the mainland babies issue. Although Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) did not show up, critics said Leung had offered him a 'political reward' for his support in the chief executive election.
A dozen members of the Mainland-Hong Kong Families Rights Association met the chief executive-elect in his office yesterday morning to discuss his plans to deal with the influx of mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong.
A spokeswoman for Leung's office said he had called Tam to invite him as he had shown concern over the births issue, but that Tam did not attend as 'all his questions were solved in the phone conversation'.
The DAB gave 147 ballots to Leung in the election, which he won with 659 votes.
Family rights group organiser Tsang Koon-wing also confirmed that he had received a call from a Leung aide on Sunday saying that Tam would join their meeting, without explaining why. Nor was Tam's absence explained.
Tsang also said Leung had made two promises - that he would solve the problems faced by mainland women with Hong Kong husbands giving birth in the city, and that he would treat them differently from mainland couples. However, Leung denied making any promises.