I won't negotiate on chief executive screening, says lawmaker Fung
Frederick Fung wants the pan-democrats to set aside their differences for the sake of reform - and this time there is a point he won't concede
Three years after his party drew fire for supporting the government's 2012 electoral reforms, Frederick Fung Kin-kee says he has a bottom line for the next set of reforms from which he will not budge.
"I can't accept any screening of candidates by individual will," he said, referring to fears contenders for the chief executive's job in 2017 could be blocked because Beijing does not like them, rather than for technical reasons such as age and residency.
"Any non-technical screening by the nominating committee is unacceptable," the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood lawmaker said.
"The ADPL has not decided on the mechanism [for deciding] how I cast my final vote. The public's preference is surely a crucial consideration … but I have my own baseline that cannot be conceded."
Fung, however, does not support the view that participation of a pan-democrat is the bottom line in determining whether the election is democratic.
Some pan-democrats, including the Democratic Party's Dr Law Chi-kwong, have set this as a determining factor.
But Fung said: "That should not be the rationale for determining whether the final electoral proposal is democratic or not."
Fung, who visited the central government's liaison office and subsequently voted for the government's reform proposal in 2010, is considered a moderate.
Recently chosen as the convenor of the "lunchbox meeting" - a weekly communication and co-operation gathering of 23 pan-democrats - he called on this group and four radicals who quit the meeting to stay united.
"This is the final episode of electoral reform, so the 27 of us, including the radicals, have to stay united to have the loudest voice," he said
Four lawmakers including the League of Social Democrats' Leung Kwok-hung, former league member Wong Yuk-man and two People's Power lawmakers quit the "lunchbox meeting" in the row over the moderates' support for the 2012 reforms.
Fung admitted the historical enmity between the radicals and moderates was a threat to a united pan-democratic camp.
"I hope they can put down all these ideological differences, together with the grievances accumulated in previous elections," he said.
The two camps also fell out over the radicals putting forward candidates against moderates in the 2011 district council election.
Fung did not rule out the possibility of running for chief executive in 2017.
"Everything should be considered. Never say never," said Fung, who lost to Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan in the pan-democrats' primary election in January last year.