• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 1:26am
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Bernard Chan says 2017 election may require leap of faith from Beijing

Bernard Chan says that it would be counterproductive for Beijing to put too many obstacles in path of 2017 election

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 March, 2013, 6:14am
 

Executive Councillor Bernard Chan conceded yesterday that it would be difficult for a pro-establishment candidate to win the 2017 chief executive race with a proper mandate should Beijing put too many obstacles in the way of pan-democrats joining the first election under universal suffrage.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post, he nevertheless expressed confidence that Hongkongers would not elect a leader who was unable to communicate with Beijing.

Chan, himself seen as a possible contender, said the openness of the nomination system for the election might depend on whether Beijing would take the risk and trust Hong Kong people.

His remarks followed those by National People's Congress Law Committee chairman Qiao Xiaoyang on Sunday, which triggered concerns that pan-democrats would be filtered out.

Qiao said those "who confront the central government" would be ineligible to stand and candidates had to be nominated by a newly formed nominating committee "as a whole", instead of by individual committee members as previously.

Chan said the election winner also needed to gain a mandate from society.

"This is a dilemma," he said. "In view of the present situation, [a chief executive] with a mandate may not necessarily be able to govern well, let alone someone with a weak mandate.

This is a dilemma. In view of the present situation, [a chief executive] with a mandate may not necessarily be able to govern well, let alone someone with a weak mandate

"What we need is a convincing system, but not one that bars some people."

He hoped that the future leader would have a mandate that would not be challenged.

"The biggest problem is whether the winner can really obtain the mandate to govern. Even if someone is elected by one-man, one-vote but keeps being discredited by others, it will be miserable, like the present situation," he said. "How can governance be improved? Could it be helped through a proper mandate? I hope so."

Chan also asked whether the 2017 election would be the "end game" of political reform.

"Before it reached the 'universal suffrage' that people are longing for, would [the election] be just part of the process? The mainland itself is still undergoing reform," he said.

Chan also warned that a law academic's plan for a rally to block Central roads to demand genuine universal suffrage might have the opposite effect.

The more often the opposition challenged Beijing, the more likely it was to tighten its control.

"In particular, where the Occupy Central plan is concerned, would it make [Beijing] give in? No, it would not," he said.

He said give and take was required between the pro-establishment and opposition camps.

Should the electoral proposal fail to be passed, Hong Kong as a city would be a loser.

During a Commercial Radio programme yesterday, Liberal Party honorary chairman James Tien Pei-chun called the universal suffrage outlined by Qiao "half" genuine.

But he said it would be better to proceed with the reform rather than keep the status quo as three million people would have the chance to vote for their leader.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
3

This article is now closed to comments

SpeakFreely
"Chan, himself seen as a possible contender, said the openness of the nomination system for the election might depend on whether Beijing would take the risk and trust Hong Kong people." Not quite the issue I think. The chance of electing an anti BJ candidate with one man one vote is very small u less PanD has someone as strong as the alike of Aung San Suuyi, not people like Mr. Ho. Even in the poll last election, DPs Ho Ws the lowest as Hk people knew he can't and doesn't how to rule.
The biggest worry that BJ does not want to yield is to give a gesture to 1.3b mainlanders that you can actually push for whatever you want like Hk 7 m people do. If we get it so easily. That is their
biggest worry. Aung is more intelligent and strong to fight for her country. Lesson to learn.
ianson
Gutless Chan says give in to Beijing without a fight. Perish the thought that he has a chance of being our CE one day.
SpeakFreely
OccupyCentral is like a academic or middle class war game ( fighting without getting killed or physically hurt) if they are not willing to go all the way like Aung San. Waste of time if this is not a real fight. Plus 90% of Hk people, i think, just want stable life and they are. We don't have a situation like Burma that people are willing to fight for their life.

Login

SCMP.com Account

or