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  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 11:47am

Basic Law

The Basic Law was drafted as part of the Sino-British Joint Declaration covering Hong Kong after its handover to China on July 1, 1997. The joint declaration stated that Hong Kong would be governed under the principle of ‘one country-two systems’ and would continue to enjoy its capitalist system and individual freedoms for 50 years after the handover.

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DEMOCRACY

Another nail in the coffin for 2017 public nomination as Beijing's top legal official speaks out

Beijing’s top legal official is the latest to speak out against letting public vote for city’s chief executive in 2017, saying it goes against Basic Law

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 4:07am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 March, 2014, 9:01am

Allowing voters to nominate chief executive candidates would violate the Basic Law, Beijing's top legal official has been quoted as saying amid Hong Kong's electoral reform debate.

Basic Law Committee director Li Fei reportedly told a legal delegation yesterday that public nomination was not in line with the city's constitution.

"Li raised the topic of public nomination and said it violates the Basic Law," a delegate said after the three-hour meeting. "He asked us to take more initiative to explain the legal principles - in particular, Article 45 - to the public and through the media."

The clause states the city's leader should be nominated by a "broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures".

The meeting in Beijing was attended by about 15 legal professionals, including National People's Congress deputies, Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference delegates and three Basic Law Committee members.

At the centre of the electoral reform debate was how to put forward chief executive candidates for the popular vote. The city's pan-democrats want the public to be allowed to nominate names for the top job.

The delegate said Basic Law Committee deputy director Zhang Rongshun detailed the benefits of having a nominating committee. "Zhang said one of the benefits is to prevent party politics."

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's constitutional affairs minister will explore the feasibility of adding a clause to the government's report to the NPC Standing Committee, stating that the electoral methods could be amended after universal suffrage was introduced in 2017.

"If, legally, there is a way to state that after the 2017 chief executive poll, the composition of the nominating committee and the nomination process could be amended … it may be a more pragmatic way to reach consensus," Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said, adding that he would discuss the possibility with Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung.

Asked if it was a way to convince the pan-democrats to accept the government's upcoming reform proposal, he said: "If anyone … thinks [the idea] could help reach a consensus on political reform, then it's worth doing."

Jiang Shigong , deputy director of Peking University's Centre for Hong Kong and Macau Studies, told the South China Morning Post earlier that there would be more room for compromise if the chief executive election method could be changed after universal suffrage was introduced in 2017.

A mainland expert familiar with Hong Kong affairs said the standing committee was likely to give the green light in its bi-monthly meeting in August to amend the method for electing the chief executive in 2017.

"From its previous practice in handling Hong Kong's political reform, apart from giving the go-ahead, the standing committee is also likely to state its position on political reform and comment on views expressed by Hong Kong people," he said.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

321manu
More of the same. Nothing to see here. These buffoons continue to treat Basic Law like its Newton's First.
And sure, they "might" "amend" things after 2017...whatever that means. But considering that they have no qualms about violating the spirit of the exercise now, I wouldn't hold my breath that any amendments would amount to a hill of beans.
The CCP might fool HKers once, and shame on them. But if Hkers fell for it a second time, there would be no one to blame but themselves.
ann.wei.121
Yes, like Macau, His Majesty gives you the man and you people could elect him with one man one vote.
That is the the universal suffrage, Communist Chinese style !
hodfords
...If they pre-select the candidates, they might as well pre-select the chief executive.... why go through the song and dance?
Prepare for an exit plan come 2017.....
blue
"If they pre-select the candidates, they might as well pre-select the chief executive.... why go through the song and dance? "

They think it'll create more legitimacy and thus the government would have a stronger mandate to rule. Unfortunately if a sham political reform package is passed where the nominating committee has to nominate candidates as a whole organization via block vote ensuring that pan-democrats can not have their candidate on the ballot then what would actually happen is you'll see CE elections with voter turnouts of 5 to 10% of the total registered voters. In other words, the general public will not view it as a legitimate election and will boycott it.

Hong Kongers do not want an Iran style democracy in Hong Kong.
fongrkm
....
sipsip1238
Might violate your basic law, but I am pretty sure it doesn't violate human rights or even democratic values.

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