Universal suffrage in Hong Kong

Basic Law key to 2017 election

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 3:18am

I have been thinking for some time about how the Hong Kong chief executive should be elected by universal suffrage in 2017.

After many years under the Basic Law and "one country, two systems", it is about time Hong Kong was able to elect its chief executive by direct election.

As it is a special administrative region of the PRC, and is governed under the Basic Law, I am guided by three key points contained in paragraphs two and three of Article 45 of the Basic Law.

They say, "The method for selecting the chief executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.

"The specific method for selecting the chief executive is prescribed in Annex I: 'Method for the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region.'"

It is my belief that the election committee mentioned in Annex I can be transformed with suitable changes into a nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.

Also, an agreed-upon number of candidates who would be acceptable to the central government could be presented to Hong Kong voters by the nomination committee for election by voting on the basis of one-person, one-vote.

It is really not too early for the political parties and the public to prepare and send in to the government their views on:

  • Changes to be made for the 2016 Legislative Council election; and
  • The procedures to elect the chief executive in 2017.

Regarding the Occupy Central plan which has aroused strong views for and against in the media and within the community, I believe the Hong Kong SAR administration and relevant bureaus are capable and resourceful enough to handle whatever situation may arise at the time in a manner befitting Hong Kong's reputation as a law-abiding and well-run international city.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan