• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:38am
NewsHong Kong

Beijing election veto discussed at reform dinner

Officials raise scenario of Beijing refusing to endorse winner of 2017 poll, says pan-democrat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 5:53am

More than 20 politicians and academics joined Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor at a dinner last night to discuss political reform.

One key question raised by officials was what would happen if the central government refused to appoint someone elected chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017, a pan-democrat political scientist revealed.

I don't even know whether everyone is interested in talking about political reform. So I rather hope that [Leung] won't organise such things any more because you really need a consultation to get things moving
Civic Party executive committee member Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu

Professor Chan Kin-man, a core organiser of the Occupy Central movement, said the question reflected the administration's concern about such a possibility and also indicated it was thinking about pan-democrat candidates taking part in the election.

However, the minister for constitutional affairs, Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, suggested the government was not greatly worried about the issue.

A public consultation early next year on electoral methods would seek views on a re-run should Beijing refuse to recognise the winner, a source familiar with the matter said last month.

Last night's dinner at Government House was hosted by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

It was the latest in a series of gatherings hosted by Leung. Lam's presence raised the level of official involvement - Tam was the highest-ranking minister at a dinner last month. At the next one, on Tuesday, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung will join the line-up.

Critics have dismissed the dinners as little more than publicity stunts.

Civic Party executive committee member Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, who attended the dinner, called on the administration to stop making "political gestures" and start public consultation on reform before the end of the year.

"I don't even know whether everyone is interested in talking about political reform. So I rather hope that [Leung] won't organise such things any more because you really need a consultation to get things moving," he said.

Joseph Wong Wing-ping, a former secretary of the civil service, questioned why Yuen would not join the official dinner delegation until next week. "If the government really wants a true discussion, why are they sending one more [official] at a time?"

Last night was the first time in months that Lam had sat down with people from across the political spectrum to discuss reform.

Also attending was Dr Chang Chak-yan, convenor of the Silent Majority for Hong Kong, which opposed Occupy Central; Sze Wing-ching, co-founder and director of Centaline Property; and Christine Fang Meng-sang, former director of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.



For unlimited access to:

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



This article is now closed to comments

The pan-dems appear to have difficulty showing respect to others who have a different point of view. If they were to say" thank you CY for organising this, it is good to share thoughts with your ministers, however we are still of the opinion that there should be a public consultation on universal suffrage by the end of the year.", they would be taken so much more seriously.
Too often they throw their toys out of their pram and use threats, such as occupy central, if they dont get exactly what they want. This displays a lack of self-control, lack of gravitas, lack of maturity and lack of willingness to work accross party lines. Qualities which are essential if you want to lead a country or region in any democracy. They are hurting their cause by acting this way.


SCMP.com Account