• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Government 'very unlikely' to include public or party nomination in reform plan

Ideas from the likes of Anson Chan and Ronny Tong may feature in second consultation, but public or party nomination dead, officials say

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 5:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 8:02am
 

Proposals for the public or political parties to nominate chief executive hopefuls in 2017 were "very unlikely" to be included in the second phase of public consultations on electoral reform because of legal and political uncertainties, officials said yesterday.

But constitutional affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said models floated by moderate pan-democrats - such as allowing the public to "recommend" candidates in a non-binding manner - were still on the table.

The five-month first phase of public consultation on electoral reform ended on May 3.

"Public nomination, party nomination and the three-track model are controversial from a legal perspective and it would be difficult to forge a consensus. There would be difficulty implementing them as well," Tam, one of three members of a government taskforce on electoral reform, told a media briefing.

Under the Alliance for True Democracy's three-track proposal, the public and political parties would nominate candidates that a nominating committee would formally approve.

"The odds of these plans being included in the government proposal for the second phase of public consultation are very low," Tam said.

In the next two months, the government will compile a report collating the 130,000 submissions from the first stage of consultations. It is expected to announce its own proposal by the end of the year at the earliest.

Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, another member of the taskforce, said anyone who disagreed with the government's stance could take legal action. But he warned the ultimate power to interpret the Basic Law rested with the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

The taskforce remained positive about proposals by moderate pan-democrats including the Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah and former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, which don't feature public nomination but focus on keeping a low threshold for candidates' nomination.

"[We hope] these proposals can draw on each others' strengths and maybe consolidate into a single plan," Tam said.

Still, he said it would be "impractical" to directly elect some members of the nominating committee, as some - including Chan - suggest, because this might mean too many elections. Including more directly elected district councillors might be a way to make the committee more representative, Tam said.

The officials said it was unlikely there would be big changes for the 2016 Legislative Council poll.

Tong called on Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the other member of the taskforce, to explain how the government would ensure people have a real choice in the 2017 poll given public nomination was ruled out.

"I hope she can confirm that the moderate proposals' directions are acceptable … otherwise Hongkongers might lose hope [of achieving] universal suffrage," Tong warned.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

chuchu59
Stop the rot. Every man and his dog knows that the government reform proposal will not include public or party nomination. What is important now is to mete out a plan that would be seen as not screening out what is deemed as 'undesirable' or 'unpatriotic' candidates. The nominating committee, in its present form, cannot be trusted to perform its primary function well. Without a major upheaval of this committee, I cant see how the public can accept the government's proposal or am I too naïve.
blue
"Tam said it would be “impractical” to directly elect certain members of the nominating committee, as some – including former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang – had suggested."

Impractical? How disingenuous can you get? Why is it practical to have the Nominating Committee elected by 250,000 biased Hong Kong voters that are not ordinary registered HK voters and that do not reflect the views of the majority? This doesn't conform to democratic procedures, as required under the Basic Law. Directly electing a portion of the nominating committee is perfectly practical and allowed under the Basic Law. Otherwise, allow all directly elected district councilors into the Nominating Committee.
321manu
"anyone who disagreed with the government's stance could take legal action. But he warned the ultimate power to interpret the Basic Law rested with the National People's Congress Standing Committee."
---ah yes, you just gotta love these guys. So Basic Law is supposedly HK's mini-constitution, except interpretation of said constitution rests with outsiders...and those outsiders have a conflict of interest whereby they would like to be judge/jury/executioner in the effort to sabotage HK's democratic evolution. This is one fantastic arrangement!! Is this what HKers chose to sign up for?!?...what's that, HKers had no input into the matter and didn't get to decide what they were signed up to?....yeah, that makes more sense now....
Ultimately, the only thing these government CCP lackeys can do is say "no"...although they are skilled at saying it in many different ways.
I guess it is simply "impractical" to give HKers true legitimate universal suffrage, so what they can look forward to is "universal suffrage with Chinese/CCP characteristics".
blue
Tam did say "Including more directly elected district councillors might be a way to make the committee more representative, Tam said." though. He also rejected DAB's proposal for a 50% block vote according to the article below:

www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=144785&sid=42115742&con_type=1&d_str=20140424&fc=7

"Constitutional affairs chief Raymond Tam Chi-yuen yesterday gave the thumbs down to a political reform proposal from the government's largest supporter in the Legislative Council.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong had suggested a two- tier nomination system with the final chief executive candidates for 2017 needing to get at least 50 percent of the vote of the Nomination Committee under a multiple-choice system."

I still however strongly disagree with Tam's view that a partially directly elected Nominating Committee is "impractical" due to there being more elections, since it's not adding more elections. It's just opening up a portion of the electoral base for the highly restricted sub sector elections to all registered HK voters. That is why Tam is being disingenuous.
blue
You just gotta love the 50 cent idiot who is disliking everyone's reasonable comments.
hodfords
I cannot understand why we are spending so much resource on fake universal suffrage in 2017; there is nothing "universal" in the suffrage.
Can somebody actually tell me the main difference(s) between our current mode of choosing the CE (which is a select group of 1200 people) and what Beijing is proposing for 2017 which is also having a select group of people choosing the CE. What is the difference?
321manu
"Including more directly elected district councillors might be a way to make the committee more representative"
---Tam is being needlessly timid here. Having directly elected councillors on the committee IS THE ONLY WAY to make the committee more representative, since it is only representative to special interests groups as it stands now. Again, these lackeys can't help but do double-speak. On the one hand, it's Basic Law or bust. On the other hand, where Basic Law says "broadly representative", it actually doesn't really mean all-that-broadly, and was never intended to require something that is all-that-representative. It's the kind of pick-and-choose logic that bespeaks the dearth of principles among the CCP crowd.
And yes, the "impractical" bit. Heck, I think the most "practical" solution would simply be having BJ choose the next CE. They can just say there was 100% HK voter turnout and the person BJ chose was the elected winner. I mean, if it's good enough for North Korea...
blue
Also why is it practical to have the Legco partially directly elected, but impractical to have the Nominating Committee partially directly elected? What total rubbish!

If the government doesn't want a huge problem on its hands, it had better be prepared to offer a moderate political reform proposal with a partially democratic Nominating Committee as that is the bare minimum standard for complying with international standards (ICCPR) and the Basic Law (Article 45, 39, and 26)

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