Democrats confirm electoral reform meeting with Zhang Xiaoming
Lawmakers plan to insist on ‘genuine universal suffrage’ next Wednesday
Two Democratic Party lawmakers confirmed today that they are to meet the central government’s liaison office director Zhang Xiaoming next Wednesday to discuss electoral reform.
While Democrats have previously drawn criticisms of “black-box negotiation” by discussing constitutional reform with liaison officials in the Sai Wan building in 2010, they have not ruled out entering the sensitive premise again.
“It is unnecessary to add unnecessary obstacles,” said Sin Chung-kai who will meet the director with Dr Helena Wong Pik-wan.
“We asked the meeting to be held at the government offices,” said Sin
The meeting followed their meeting with Beijing officials in Shanghai last month as Democrat representatives. They will be the first Democrats to meet with Zhang, and “do not expect any actual impact”, Sin said.
Wong said they plan to discuss details of the three-track electoral reform proposal, which allows voters, political parties and the nominating committee to put forward chief executive candidates.
“We will insist we are fighting for a genuine universal suffrage model, without any political screening,” said Wong. The three-track proposal was also backed by the Alliance of True Democracy, a coalition formed by 26 out of 27 pan-democratic lawmakers.
They also plan to discuss the composition of the nominating committee, the only organisation empowered by the Basic Law to endorse chief executive candidates in 2017, Wong said.
“People are worried the committee will become a tool for an unreasonable screening mechanism,” said Wong.
On Thursday, independent pan-democrat Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long was the first member of the camp to meet Zhang in the director’s office.
He quoted Zhang as reiterating Beijing’s stance against public nomination.
The other pan-democrats are still waiting for the call-back from the liaison office.
Civic Party, the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, and the Professional Commons have received the liaison office’s invitation and stated their meeting preference.
Parties which have not sent any members to Shanghai, such as the Labour Party and the People Power, are still waiting for an invitation from the liaison office.