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Elsie Leung warns against 'stupid' votes in 2017 chief executive race

Ex-justice secretary thinks universal suffrage can be perfected after 2017

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 April, 2013, 5:21am

If Hongkongers are "stupid enough" to vote for a chief executive candidate who does not meet Beijing's criteria of "loving the country and loving Hong Kong", they should not blame Beijing for the consequences, former justice secretary Elsie Leung Oi-sie says.

However, the veteran Beijing loyalist thinks such a vote unlikely.

"Why would Hongkongers vote for someone [who does not fulfil the criteria]? If we are stupid enough to do so … something against common sense, we shall not blame the central government for the consequences," she said yesterday. "I believe doing so will just do harm to ourselves."

She also said that achieving a perfect form of universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election would not be possible, nor would the vote mark the end of the city's political reforms.

Leung, vice-chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee of the National People's Congress, urged those involved in the electoral reform debate to be peaceful and rational.

"Democracy cannot be done overnight," she said on a Commercial Radio programme. "It is impossible for universal suffrage in 2017 to be perfect, but it does not mean it cannot be accepted. A vote for each Hongkonger in the chief executive poll is a step forward we should take."

Leung also shed light on the possibility of further electoral reforms after 2017. "Like many other countries, the political system will not remain in the same stage forever. We can have universal suffrage in 2017, but it is not the final destination [for political reform]," she said.

Leung said the criteria for the city's chief executive - which include not confronting the central government - set out by Qiao Xiaoyang , chairman of the NPC Law Committee last month were not new.

She added that it was too early to judge whether whatever electoral reforms were proposed would violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"There are age restrictions, for example, for chief executive candidates. The point is that these restrictions cannot be unreasonable," she said.

Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy, said Leung's remarks showed a lack of trust in Hongkongers. "[Her message] is clear, that you are stupid and I will fix everything for you. Isn't this a humiliation to the seven million Hongkongers?" Cheng said.

Hongkongers were rational and trustworthy, he said, and would elect a chief executive who works for their interests.

Cheng insisted that no primary election or vetting would be acceptable in the 2017 race.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit also questioned Leung's view that 2017 need not be the end point in the development of universal suffrage. "It can be a starting point only in the sense that it already complies with the internationally recognised 'universal and equal suffrage' principles," Leong said.

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the sun also rises
if Leung Oi-see(the former secretary for justice who let Ms Hu Sin off the hook of law by not prosecuting the latter for deliberately falsifying the number of circuation of her newspaper:Sing Tao for fear that a charge against the paper mongul might trigger a large lay-off of newspaper employees during the recession.) or Maria Tam Wai-chu, who is a legacy of the British colonists indeed since she became a three-tier councillor in the early eighties of last century by acted as an Exco.member,a Legislative member (both posts were appointed by the British administration) and a district councillor of western district on Hong Kong Island can serve as heavyweights of the pro-Being,pro-establishment in the territory,it is certainly the tragedy of the establishment indeed ! May God bless/curse them all !
the sun also rises
Of course, Leung Oi-see's words uttered (not said) at Commercial Radio is a humiliation to most Hongkongers except those blind loyalists (so-called patriots).She warned us never elect a chief executive who does not love the country and Hong Kong plus confronts the Central authorities.Any Hongkongers with sense will never elect such a person to be our leader.It is for sure.She just doesn't need to remind/warn us once such a situation emerges, the reaction of Beijing is unavoidable---quash any riots or have our elected leader fired or even arrested on the charge of subversion of the country and anti-revolution or endangering the security of the country, I wonder.We would like to advise this white-haired old maid to have her mouth sealed if possible so as not to make Hongkongers disgust her more and even regard her and Maria Tam as traitors of Hong Kong !
blue
"We would like to advise this white-haired old maid to have her mouth sealed if possible so as not to make Hongkongers disgust her more and even regard her and Maria Tam as traitors of Hong Kong !"
How are you any better than the Pro Beijing crowd when you say things like this?
the sun also rises
I just wonder whether this Beijing loyalist or so-called mouthpiece (just like local 'patriotic papers: Tai Kung Pao or Man Wui Pao), Ms Leung Oi-see is a Hong Kong traitor by not speaking for us and defend we Hongkongers' interests and rights.Instead, she always stands on the opposite side of most Hongkongers (except Ng Hon-man,Ip Kwok-him,Cheng Yiu-tong, Tam Wai-chu, Law Fan Chiu-fan , Rita Fan Tsui Lei-tai ,Cheung Chi-kwong , Lau Nar-keung and their alike which comprises only a small portion of the population: maybe one-tenth or at most,one-fifth only ) Now she is misleading us by reminding us not to expect the coming universal suffrage will be a perfect one.Actually, no one expects it to be a perfect one but just one to comply with the standard of the UN only---voters are allowed to vote,to nominate (at least in an indirect way through the Nominating Committe which can be elected by'one man,one vote' )and to be elected ; no so-called a screening mechanism nor a primary poll or any pre-requisites such as 'loving the country(the Party,to be exact) and Hong Kong and 'not confrontational to the Central authorities' which are both not written in the Basic Law and carry no legality at all but just political conditions only !!
henleyhk
We need to teach these authoritarian toadies a lesson. It's pathetic that Ms Leung and others like her think that the sort of communist doublespeak they peddle will wash in HK. It won't. Self determination is not only a legitimate human right (whether the bullying thugs of the Chinese Communist Party like it or not), it is also worth fighting for - even if there are consequences.
anotherguy
Elsie is just saying the obvious. Defy your boss, you will be ruined career wise or do you expect to be rewarded? No matter how unpleasant those words appear, the reality in this case is clear whether those words come from her mouth or not. HKner should spend their time thinking what is the best choice of action rather than getting worked up.
the sun also rises
fully agree with Civic Party lawmaker and barrister,Mr,Leong Kah-kit that 2017 needs not be the end point in our development of universal suffrage, but it can be a starting point only in the sense that it already complies with the internationally recognised 'universal and equal suffrage' principles---the people (the qualified voters), enjoy the right to vote, to nominate and to be elected.Though in our Basic Law, it states that the chief executive in 2017 should be nominated by the Nominating Committee which members can be chosen through' one man,one vote' and besides,there are no conditions that our chief executive should be 'loving the country (the Party ?) and Hong Kong plus not confrontational to the Central authorities which critieron are too vague and no legality at all !
shuike
I agree with her. Right now we have unprecedented freedom which we never even had during the British occupation. Universal suffrage adds nothing that we do not already enjoy. But confrontation with China will be different. It will definitely bring about civil disobedience leading to uncontrolled disturbances perpetrated by political parties with vested interest. It is nice to shout about democracy but given the pitiful conditions of the citizens in Iraq, Egypt, Libya soon after their “liberation”, “democracy” & free voting, do you blame me for wanting to preserve the present status quo in H.K?
caractacus
To think that this supremely unintelligent woman held the most senior law officer's post.
alyosha
Leung Oi-sie is full of rubbish in her mouth. Doing so much thing out of conscience, she should beware of the last few year of her life. I wishes someone a slow and painful death.
blue
She's just expressing her opinion. Why do you have to be so bitter and hateful. You're not very democratic when you say things like this.
fearonjones
“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
― Mark Twain
boondeiyan
ianson +1. How is common sense to be defined by one individual; how is the "will of all", in Rousseau's term, to be conditioned on the whim of a ruling elite? This is more of the same transparent condescension we have come to expect from her.
Camel
She just expresses her believe that Hkners are not that stupid to vote for revolution which would be the downfall of HK for sure. Look to Tunesia and Egypt. How had the audience in the "democratic" world cheered with the "Jasmin Revolution". Now nobody is cheering anymore. For decades they won't cheer.
ianson
Elsie Leung demonstrates yet again her shallow intellect which is embarrassing in a former Secretary for Justice. The point is not whether or not we have a propensity to elect a leader who loves Hong Kong and China and who will not oppose the Central Government. The point is that these concepts are so nebulous that, if any attempt is made to implement them, they provide the perfect opportunity for Beijing to fiddle with democracy here. And they certainly will unless they are strenuously opposed. Talk all you like about the concepts but don't suggest that they can be pre-conditions. Let the voters choose.
XYZ
We don't want a revolution. We just want to elect our own mayor. She is the stupid one.

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