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Heavyweight Elsie Leung defends idea of primary race for top job

Elsie Leung denies a 'screening process' in 2017 election would go against universal suffrage

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 8:59am

A Basic Law Committee heavyweight has dismissed suggestions that holding a primary poll for the 2017 chief executive race would be a regressive move.

Elsie Leung Oi-sie, deputy director of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee and a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy, made the remarks in Beijing after Ming Pao newspaper cited a source saying a primary may be held for the next leadership race.

In response to the report, pan-democratic lawmakers Emily Lau Wai-hing and Kenneth Chan Ka-lok said they would make clear in a United Nations Human Rights Committee preparatory meeting in Geneva today that it would not be universal suffrage if there was a "screening" mechanism in the 2017 election.

But Leung yesterday defended the idea. "Screening is needed in many countries' polls, especially in places with a large population … There are so many voters [in Hong Kong]. How can you elect a chief executive smoothly without screening? But the [electoral] methods have to be reasonable," she said.

Asked if a primary poll would be a regressive move, Leung said: "Discussion on the [electoral reform] has not yet begun. So don't jump to conclusions … We have yet to see how the screening would be done. It would be too arbitrary to say at this stage whether or not it is fair."

In Hong Kong, Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing said it was "meaningless" to argue about whether the rumoured "procedures" constituted a primary or screening. He said the debate should focus on whether the nomination would be in line with democratic procedures and public expectations.

Article 45 of the Basic Law states that the ultimate aim is the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in line with democratic procedures.

In Beijing, NPC deputy Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said the "democratic procedures" stipulated in the Basic Law could involve "a voting process" or "a primary".

Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan worried that the nominating committee may filter out those with dissenting views, meaning it would not be "genuine universal suffrage".

Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang said candidates should not be screened at the start and the "universal and fair" principle should be upheld.

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the sun also rises
As former full-time advisor of the Central Policy Unit, Mr.Lin Yuet-tsang said in a radio programme,the so-called primary poll in the candidates of our coming Chief Executive Election in 2017 (when we were promised to have a universal suffrage) is misleading and totally unacceptable since the western countries such as America, their primary polls in their Presidential election are carried out within indvidual political parties to select a final candidate to compete for the top post, These local leftists or pro-Beijing heavyweights are deliberately trying to mislead Hongkongers only. Yet we won't be fooled at all. What we really want is a geniune universal suffrage such as the one held in Taiwan where its leader---the President of the ROC---is voted in through ballots cast by qualified voters on the island ! If Taiwan can choose their leader smoothly in this way, why can't we ? Taiwan is said to be an integral part of China yet it practises a democratic political system.Why we Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, can't follow suit ? I wonder.
the sun also rises
**** Leung Oi-see dropped the case against Sing Tao's Ms Hu Sin for falsifying the circulation number of the paper during her appointment as the Secretary of justice in the territory---now openly claimed that there should be a primary poll (or screening mechanism) for the election of our chief executive in a universal suffrage which should never have a screening mechanism according to international human rights.Besides,the meeting of the Democratic Party with the Liaison Office in Western was also arranged through her who knows Ming Pao's Cheung Kin-por who befriends Democratic Party's Cheung Man-kwong---met her at a hotel in Central where she promised to arrange the vital meeting between heavyweights of the Pigeon Party with senior officials of the Liaison Office.
ianson
Elsie Leung has already made plain her warped ideas of democracy and we can all see she's in bed with the thieves in Beijing, so her comments must be regarded with the greatest suspicion. Any screening process provides opportunities for the Communist Party to distort the outcome. Universal suffrage means no tampering, no intervention. What on earth does "large population" have to do with it and since when did 7 million amount to "large" anyway?

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