• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 12:25pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Beijing might allow popular candidate to run for chief executive, says Jasper Tsang

Legco president says top official told him ‘we will accept reality’ on chief executive election

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 March, 2014, 3:28am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 March, 2014, 3:28am
 

The central government is said to be prepared to "accept reality" and allow someone popular - albeit disliked by Beijing - to run for the 2017 chief executive election.

That was the message from an "an authoritative official" quoted by Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing yesterday.

Tsang also dismissed as "not authoritative" comments by Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun, who said on Wednesday that Beijing had already "decided" a pan-democrat was "unlikely" to qualify as a candidate.

Speaking on Commercial Radio, Tsang said: "I have told Beijing officials that if you forcefully screen out a popular person because you think he's not patriotic, how could Hongkongers [accept] that?"

Tsang - who has warned that failure to achieve universal suffrage in 2017 would be the "worst scenario" for all sides - has been encouraging pan-democrats to join a trip to Shanghai next month for talks with officials on political reform.

"I can tell you, without mentioning who he is, that a central government official replied 'We will accept this reality' - when it was mentioned that if there was a person very welcomed by Hongkongers - you have to let him run."

Tsang said the pan-democrats should worry more about whether they could field a capable candidate.

After the interview, Tsang said he believed the official's stance also indicated Beijing would accept an unpatriotic candidate if endorsed by the committee.

Tien stood by his observation, while Chinese University political scientist Ma Ngok and Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah also questioned whether the official who spoke to Tsang reflected mainstream views within the central government.

Tong said he would not be optimistic about the prospects of political reform based on "a personal opinion".

During the interview, Tsang also reiterated that the central and local governments might have to pay a heavy political price if they pushed though an unpopular electoral reform package, such as one that barred "confrontational" pan-democrats from running.

The government must win a two-thirds majority in the 70-member Legco to secure passage of any reform package, which means it needs to win over some pan-democrats.

"If society cannot accept that package, and you can only win a few votes [from the pan-democratic camp] … it will be, undoubtedly, suicidal for those [democrats to support the government]," Tsang warned.

 

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sudo rm -f cy
Beijing might "allow" popular candidate to run for chief executive...the problem is that candidates should need Beijing's permission at all.
johnyuan
To cc88,
.
Whether a newspaper uses of an Anglo name suddenly addressing a Hong Konger of Chinese origin it is of no significance to do so. It is part of what Hong Kong is.
.
Here I wish CY Leung will not be addressed as Cruciferous Leung as suggested. Why not Coniferous Leung. Just to bill him as an environmentalist who respects our Country Parks.
ubifrancehk
I am a Democrat, but I agree with you. He is the only one among the pro-government camp who has the guts to sometimes depart from what Beijing says to find a middle ground.
sipsip1238
Running and winning is two different things...votes still doesn't come from the public.
I could be the next CEO of Hong Kong too, but won't happy would it.
If I did become one though, I'd propose every high level public servant to take a 50% pay cut and then I'd ensure that I am the lowest paid of the lot. Anyone who cries poor can go and find themselves a private sector firm willing to paid them what they want.
hm03
Wow!
321manu
However vague and anonymous these comments might be, Mr. Tsang's description is the most encouraging development yet. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. I wonder how the sentiment will translate into actual proposals. It's not much, but better than nothing for now.
daily
Popularity means nothing..............it is nothing more than a tool that politicians use to garner votes when they don't have the necessary capabilities to defeat their rivals............all it takes is charisma and a bunch of empty promises to be popular. Just take a look at the United States where Obama was elected simply because he was "popular". All his promises are empty and the guy has no substance - simply all talk and nothing more.
If Beijing was to allow popularity as a criteria to allow for CE candidate, then HK is even more doomed than ever.............there are a lot of popular but incompetent and useless politicians in HK as we speak right now.............Look no further than the bunch of idiots we have inside Legco and you will see why popularity is the worse criteria to allow for CE candidates.
chuchu59
How do we gauge popularity? Opinion polls? Surely if Beijing has the last word as to whom is deemed popular we are back to square one. There needs to be an objective yardstick to gauge popularity.
If Jasper runs for CE, I would be quite happy and support him with my heart. Much better than Tien whom I view as the proverbial 'chameleon' and fence-sitter.
Hum-Balang
Is the CCP conceding to the dire straits of the sit-in in Taipei? They fear Occupy Central will become the Guangdong Spring?
Who do CCP have in mind when they asked Tsang to sound this out to HK to test the water? Anson Chan? Martin Li? It will take an idealistic-extremist voluntary patriot, or an equally strongwilled China-hating traitor to want to be the next CE. The patriot's role would be to defend HK 1C-2S's appearance of neutrality until CCP reclaims Taiwan with KMT and DPP the viable 2 alternative parties to CCP. The script says this should have been preceded by HKSAR's pan-dem camp had they been more receptive, but these amateurs won't even come to Shanghai to politics, sigh!!
Byebye
Mr Tsang Yok-sing, please be our next CEO?

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