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What the Occupy Central referendum asks voters

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 June, 2014, 5:42pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 June, 2014, 5:20pm
 

The University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme was commissioned by Occupy Central to conduct the poll which asks two questions.

In the first, voters pick from three proposals for the 2017 chief executive election put forward by civil groups. In the second, voters say if the legislature should veto a future government proposal if it does not satisfy international democratic standards. They can abstain on both questions.

The three proposals in the first question, sourced from the Occupy Central website, are:

1. Alliance for True Democracy Proposal

ATD’s Election Plan includes three channels for nomination: civil nomination, political party nomination, and nomination by the nominating committee. Civil nomination demands a candidate to secure the signed endorsement of 1 per cent of the registered voters; political party nomination requires a political party or coalition of political parties receiving 5 per cent or more of the total valid votes in the last Legislative Council direct election. The nominating committee shall not refuse to endorse the above nominees who meet the legal requirements. Political conditions such as “love China, love Hong Kong” and “no confrontations with the central government” are not acceptable.

ATD believes that civil nomination and political party nomination after due recognition by the nomination committee are within the scope of “democratic procedures”. It believes that its proposed plan satisfies the provisions of the Basic Law.

2. People Power Proposal

Composition of the Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall comprise all popularly elected District Councilor and Legislative Councilors at present.

Nomination Procedure and Threshold

The Nominating Committee must endorse one’s candidacy if the potential candidate satisfies the requirement in Article 44 of the Basic Law, and, within a nomination period of at least four weeks, satisfies any of the three requirements below:

(1) Nomination by 1 per cent of the registered Geographical Constituency voters (approximately 35,000 voters);

(2) Nomination by 5 per cent of all Legislative Councilors; or

(3) Nomination by 5 per cent of all District Councilors.

Voting System

The election shall employ the two-round, run-off system by universal suffrage. A candidate is elected as Chief Executive by winning a requisite simple majority (more than 50 per cent) of the valid votes in the first round. If no candidate wins the requisite simple majority in the first round, a run-off election (second round) shall be held between the two highest-placed candidates, in which the candidate with the greater number of valid votes shall be elected as Chief Executive.

3. Students' Proposal

The Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) and the Scholarism proposed a Students’ Equal Proposal, which includes civil nomination and nomination by directly elected legislators, synchronised legislation on Election method for Chief Executive in 2017 and the abolition of Functional Constituencies in Legislative Council. This dual-tracked nomination procedure will not just manifest the spirit of social equality, but also let Hong Kong people regain control of their right to nominate, to elect and to be elected.

Composition of the Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee shall comprise popularly elected Legislative Councilors.

Nomination Procedure and Threshold

The nomination procedure is dual-tracked:

(1) Civil Nomination:

This track is indispensable. The nomination threshold is set at requiring signed endorsement from 1 per cent from of the total number of registered voters (presently at 35,000 voters). The nominating period shall not be less than two months, and the Nominating Committee shall not have any veto power in relation to the official candidate put forth via this track.

(2) Nomination by the Nominating Committee:

The nomination threshold is set at requiring signed endorsement from 8 per cent of the total number of members in the Nominating Committee. Each candidate can have support from no more than 20 per cent of the total number of members. Each member of the Nominating Committee can only nominate one candidate.

Voting System

The election shall employ the two-round, run-off system by universal suffrage. A candidate is elected as Chief Executive by winning a requisite simple majority (more than 50 per cent) of the valid votes in the first round. If no candidate wins the requisite simple majority in the first round, a run-off election (second round) shall be held between the two highest-placed candidates, in which the candidate with more votes shall be elected as Chief Executive.

Remarks

The Chief Executive Election Ordinance (Cap 569) should be amended to the extent that there should be no restrictions as to the number of candidates running for office as Chief Executive, or as to the political background or party affiliation of the candidate.

If Civil Nomination is regarded as a contravention of Article 45 of the Basic Law, the SAR Government should propose bills for amendments of the Basic Law in accordance with Article 159 to include civil nomination and other election methods by universal and equal suffrage into the Basic Law, so as to discharge its obligation of reflecting Hong Kong citizens’ firm insistence on civil nomination.

One-off legislation (amendment) should be enacted to abolish functional constituencies in Legislative Council elections to reflect the goal of universal suffrage.

The second question asks if the government proposal cannot satisfy international standards allowing genuine choices by electors, should LegCo should veto it?

Voters are asked:

1. LegCo should veto

2. LegCo should not veto

3. Abstain.

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