Occupy Central

Anson Chan and moderate lawmakers unite to seek views on 2017 poll process

Moderates unite to seek views on how to make process for 2017 poll more democratic

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 7:50am

Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and five moderate pan-democratic lawmakers have joined forces to seek public views on how to make the nominating process for the chief executive election in 2017 more democratic.

But amid a deepening rift among the pan-democrats, the six also agreed there was no need to form a new alliance to promote moderate reform proposals.

This emerged from a meeting between Chan's group, Hong Kong 2020, and lawmakers Ronny Tong Ka-wah of the Civic Party, Charles Mok and Kenneth Leung of Professional Commons, Frederick Fung Kin-kee of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, and independent Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long.

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It came a week after the Occupy Central campaign endorsed three proposals for a citywide "referendum" next month that Chan's group said risked disenfranchising people who did not want confrontation with Beijing.

The five lawmakers at the meeting belong to the Alliance for True Democracy, which includes 26 of the 27 pan-democrat lawmakers and risks being torn apart by the row over the proposals.

All three suggestions, including one from the alliance, call for the public to be allowed to nominate candidates, an idea already dismissed by Beijing.

Proposals by Chan, Tong and a group of 18 academics that exclude public nomination and call for a democratic nominating committee did not make the cut.

After yesterday's hour-long, closed-door meeting, Chan said that while her group and the lawmakers "raised different proposals on universal suffrage, there are actually a number of common points".

"There is more unity among the pan-democratic camp if you set aside two or three of the more radical elements, and there is a good deal of scope for cooperation between different political parties," she said.

They would hold public forums and consider conducting opinion surveys.

Mok, Leung, Lee and Fung said that while they would continue to support the alliance's proposal, which would allow the public, political parties and the nominating committee to put forward candidates, they agreed on holding more talks about a democratic nominating committee.

Additional reporting by Tanna Chong