• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 11:39am
NewsHong Kong

Outlook for universal suffrage for 2017 'not very bright' says Carrie Lam

Chief secretary issues call to face up to reality if the city is to achieve universal suffrage in 2017

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 5:17am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 9:04am

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor says the outlook for electing the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2017 is "not very bright" and the situation will reach an "impasse" if democracy lobbyists refuse to accept that any electoral reform must comply with the Basic Law.

A nominating committee modelled on the framework of the broadly representative four-sector Election Committee now in place will "stand a better chance of being accepted" in both the legal and political context, Lam says.

"In light of the prevailing situation, the outlook for the successful implementation of universal suffrage for the chief executive election is not very bright, though the prospect is not yet completely bleak," she writes in an article on today's opinion page of the South China Morning Post.

Lam notes that views are rather polarised, with many "lacking supporting arguments" or "giving little consideration" to the principles and provisions relating to the political structure as stipulated in the Basic Law.

"At this juncture of the consultation, we should have practical discussions on the provisions of the Basic Law, instead of wasting time and effort in making proposals over which a consensus is hard to achieve," she writes in reference to reaching the halfway point of the government's five-month public consultation.

As for the heated debate on nomination procedures, Lam says any proposal "bypassing" or "undermining" the nomination power of the nominating committee would not be acceptable in the realm of law.

She adds: "Any proposal that is legally controversial is unlikely to be passed by a two-thirds majority in [the Legislative Council] and obtain the consent of the chief executive and the approval of the [National People's Congress] Standing Committee."

Lam urges all sectors of the community to "initiate more constructive discussions" and not let the opportunity of achieving universal suffrage slip away.

Meanwhile, Jaime Sze Wine-him, of the Beijing-loyalist Y. Elites Association, urged pan-democrats to let go of partisanship and focus on nurturing capable people.

"Despite their pan-democratic backgrounds, [Secretary for Transport and Housing] Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung and [Democratic Party member] Dr Law Chi-kwong are highly regarded in the pro-establishment camp," Sze said.


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This article is now closed to comments

"she writes in an article on today's opinion page of the South China Morning Post."
This is digital media. You can link to these.
Not the only thing that is not bright, Carrie. But your bosses in Beijing must be pleased with you. Your future is very bright as you are an apt pupil. Follow the word of the Party and the spoils shall be yours.
See above.
Dai Muff
"We need to work together in harmony, and compromise". Which means you better come round and agree with ME.
I am sorry but the Basic Law does NOT limit the composition of the nominating committee or how it is selected.
The HK people deserve better than a "my brother or my cousin" election. We just had one, and look what we got.
Compliance with the Basic Law was never a problem. The problem lies with different interpretations of the Basic Law. Does Carrie mean that the government's interpretation of the Basic Law is sacred and must be adhered to and everything else is gibberish? If we are to succeed in constitutional reform there must be give and take from all parties. No one can say that others must conform to its wishes only.
So Ms. Lam and the Beijing types pay lip service to democratic reform, whilst insisting on a proposal that is inherently undemocratic. Such rich irony...something these Beijing types are good at. In a democracy, laws that don't fit the need of the electorate can be amended so that they do. I wonder how amenable these government "democratic" types would be to such a decidedly-democratic concept.


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