A proposal by pan-democrats that the nominating committee for the 2017 chief executive election be elected by all 3.2 million registered voters may not be in line with a decision by the nation's top legislature, says a Beijing-friendly heavyweight.
The Alliance for True Democracy also suggests that candidates who secure nominations from a certain proportion of the city's voters should be allowed to compete for the top job under "one man, one vote".
But Elsie Leung Oi-sie, deputy director of the Basic Law Committee, said this might result in a situation where dozens of candidates ran for chief executive.
Alternatively, the alliance said, a candidate with support of at least an eighth of nominating committee members could stand under universal suffrage.
Leung said it would be difficult for the election process to be conducted smoothly if there were too many candidates.
"While I appreciate the alliance's announcement of its proposal for public discussion, the suggestions appear to be inconsistent with a decision by the NPC Standing Committee in 2007," she said.
The Standing Committee said the composition of the nominating committee could draw reference from the existing 1,200-strong Election Committee. The current Election Committee was elected by about 240,000 voters.
It comprises four sectors: industrial, commercial and financial; the professions; labour, social services and religious bodies; legislators, district councillors and Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress. Each sector has 300 committee members.
Leung, a former secretary for justice, earlier called on the pan-democrats to come up with a proposal for electoral reform.
Speaking at a question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council yesterday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the government would leave ample time for public consultation.
"But I must also emphasise [that] constitutional reform should, and could only, be based on the Basic Law and the National People's Congress' decisions.
"As long as we stick to this constitutional foundation, we have the condition for consensus, and for pushing forward democratisation in Hong Kong."
An editorial in pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao yesterday took a hardline stance against the alliance's proposal, describing it as confrontational and unconstitutional.
"Rather than a consensus for the 2017 chief executive election, it is more like a consensus to confront the central government and disrupt Hong Kong," it said.
The editorial said the alliance's suggestion for the chief executive nominating committee to be selected by "one man, one vote" was ridiculous.