Let all have a vote in every functional seat, tycoon Chan Wing-kee suggests
All Hong Kong voters should be able to vote for lawmakers in every functional constituency from 2020, a Beijing-loyalist heavyweight proposes.
But tycoon Chan Wing-kee, a member of the standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the business chambers and professional bodies that dominate the functional seats should retain the right to nominate candidates.
Chan submitted his idea yesterday, two days into a five-month government consultation on electoral reform ahead of the 2017 election for chief executive and the 2020 Legislative Council poll, both of which are due to be run under universal suffrage.
Half of the 70 legislators represent functional constituencies, including five lawmakers nominated by district councillors but elected by the whole city in the so-called super seats. Just 240,000 voters return the other 30 members.
Pan-democrats believe functional seats are incompatible with universal suffrage and want them scrapped, but business leaders want the voting system overhauled instead.
"If several candidates are nominated, and the winner chosen by the public, he would be accountable to the people," Chan said.
Some 16 lawmakers in traditional functional seats were elected unopposed last year.
Chan put forward a similar proposal during a consultation in 2010, when he suggested functional constituencies should hold US-style "primary" elections, followed by a public vote.
On reform of the chief executive election, Chan said the nominating committee which will decide which candidates face the public vote should put forward at least three hopefuls.
"Even if there are only three candidates, the winner has to be accountable to Hongkongers," Chan said. He agreed with some pan-democrats that the committee should be broadened.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who spearheads a task force on reform, yesterday met the chairmen of the 18 district councils.
And Zhang Xiaoming , director of Beijing's liaison office, attended the National People's Congress deputies' monthly meeting yesterday. Local deputy Ip Kwok-him said Zhang reiterated Beijing's stance on reform, including its hope to see a "patriotic" chief executive elected.