POLITICS
image

Universal suffrage in Hong Kong

Henry Tang calls for public consultation on CE election by October

Ex-chief secretary says schedule is tight for selecting next leader by universal suffrage

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 3:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 5:23am

Former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen yesterday urged the government to launch a consultation by October on arrangements for choosing Hong Kong's next leader by universal suffrage.

Tang's remarks came as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the government would start the consultation at a "suitable time", without giving a timetable.

Tang warned that the government had no time to waste in preparing for the Legislative Council elections in 2016 and chief executive poll in 2017. The government has stated its goal is also for the legislature to be elected by universal suffrage in 2020.

Tang said the government should learn from the previous administration's experience in pushing through the "2012 package" of changes before last year's elections for the chief executive and Legco. As chief secretary, Tang spearheaded that effort, which expanded the Election Committee and increased the number of seats in Legco.

"The next Legco election will be held in 2016. If we work backwards, by 2015 we will need to have all the local legislation finished so that government can get ready," said Tang.

The next Legco election will be held in 2016. If we work backwards, by 2015 we will need to have all the local legislation finished so that government can get ready

Tang was elected a member of the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on Monday.

He said that steps like winning Legco's approval for the government's reform package, getting the chief executive's consent, and getting the green light from Beijing could take up to a year. Then another year was needed to prepare the legislation.

Meanwhile, a new forum for pan-democratic parties to discuss the political reforms will hold its first meeting today.

The group, comprising the Democratic Party, Civic Party, Labour Party and some independents, is also in talks to include the radical wing of the camp, such as the League of Social Democrats and People Power.

The group will be formally launched next month.