Democratic Party urged to back election reform plan or leave alliance

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 January, 2014, 3:10am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 January, 2014, 3:10am

Rifts among pan-democrats appear to remain unhealed despite the release yesterday of a reform proposal for the 2017 chief executive election that supposedly has their collective endorsement.

The reform plan by the Alliance for True Democracy - a group made up of 26 pan-democrat lawmakers - suggests introducing a three-track system in which candidates could be chosen by public nomination or through support from political parties.

Those choices would then be rubber-stamped by the nominating committee, the group responsible under the Basic Law for officially nominating candidates.

But Alliance convenor Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek did not clarify whether all three steps were indispensible to the plan, as some alliance members had stated. The Democratic Party opposes bundling the three options.

Democratic Party vice-chairman Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong said alliance members could propose or accept other plans.

"[The alliance] has never made a decision that each of the three channels for nominations is indispensible," Tsoi said.

Fellow alliance member Raymond Chan Chi-chuen, of the People Power group, said the Democrats should quit the alliance if they did not back the plan.

"The situation is not that there are three dishes being prepared and we will eat the dish which is cooked well first," Chan said, adding that the three tracks should be adopted as a whole.

"If there is a political party that has something else in mind, they should not stay in the alliance."

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit played down the apparent rift, saying public endorsement of the plan was key.

He said different proposals would have to be voted on by the public in the mock referendum to be conducted by the University of Hong Kong in June.

"The alliance's election plan might not win, but we pledge to vote according to the people's decision," he said.

Additional reporting by Ng Kang-chung