July 1 march

Moderate reform plan still possible despite vote, says former chief secretary Anson Chan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 3:26am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 July, 2014, 3:26am

The prospect for a moderate electoral-reform proposal remained undiminished even after 780,000 Hongkongers voted in Occupy Central's unofficial plebiscite in which all three proposals included public nomination, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang said yesterday.

Chan said there was still room for negotiation despite the win by the Alliance for True Democracy's three-track proposal that included the right for all voters to nominate chief executive candidates in 2017.

"The winning proposal does not insist that the three nomination tracks are all indispensable," Chan said. "Having most of the people vote for this proposal reflects there is still room for negotiation."

The alliance's plan would see political parties, the official nominating committee and the public all proposing candidates.

Chan's pro-democracy Hong Kong 2020 think tank has proposed a model that would exclude public nomination and introduce directly elected representatives to the nominating committee to make it "broadly representative". It also suggests aspirants should require support from only a tenth of the committee to be able to stand.

Chan also said there was no need for Civic Party's Ronny Tong Ka-wah to shelve his moderate reform plan as a result of the vote. Tong said on Monday that he could not reject public opinion, gleaned from the plebiscite, and although he was not scrapping his proposal - which does not include public nomination - he would not publicly advocate it.

Chan also noted that the poll had found that nearly 88 per cent of those who voted believed the legislature should veto any reform plan that failed to meet international standards.

She said compromise to pursue a competitive election, offering a real choice to voters, did not mean forgoing basic principles.