Occupy Central

Occupy Central's third 'deliberation day' slated for May 6

Participants will pick out three proposals for electoral reform to be put to a citywide vote

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 5:02pm

The Occupy Central movement for democracy will hold its third mass-deliberation session next month, asking participants to decide on the three best proposals for electoral reform to be put to a civil referendum in June, organisers say.

The movement will regard the result of the June 22 referendum, an electronic voting exercise, as the ultimate choice of Hongkongers and as such it will receive Occupy Central's official endorsement.

"We want to let Hongkongers choose whether the [final] proposal should allow public nomination," key organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a University of Hong Kong legal academic, said.

Ahead of the May 6 "deliberation day", the 20 or so reform proposals that had been put forward by various parties so far would be submitted to international constitutional and political scholars, Tai said.

These people would examine whether the ideas were compatible with global standards for universal suffrage as reflected in the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, he said.

Only proposals that met these global standards and the framework set by the Basic Law would be put on the table on May 6, he added.

He expects the event to draw at least 2,000 supporters of the campaign, which plans to mobilise more than 10,000 people to block streets in Central if the government fails to deliver a satisfactory political reform proposal for the 2017 chief executive election.

On the idea of public nomination, Tai said he believed a proposal that allowed any registered voter to recommend chief executive candidates to the nominating committee in a non-binding manner might be compatible with the UN standards.

Tai was referring to a moderate plan, proposed by 18 scholars on Wednesday, in which members of the public can recommend hopefuls but not have the nominating right that pan-democrats have been calling for.

"According to guiding principles drawn up by the international scholars earlier, the crux of an electoral system is in whether it offers voters a genuine choice, and that includes the composition of the nominating committee and its procedures," he said.