• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 4:21pm
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS: ANALYSIS

Hong Kong 'becoming ungovernable without a ruling party'

As relations between the government and lawmakers worsen, analyst says the problem is HK's leader can't have any political affiliation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 5:57am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 9:28am

The city is becoming "ungovernable", and the political system barring its leader from being a member of any party is to blame.

So says political scientist Dr Cheung Chor-yung, of City University. "It is not an overstatement to say that Hong Kong is becoming ungovernable. It is clear that the government is having great difficulties in pushing forward its policies," Cheung said.

"The current political system is designed so that no party, whether it holds the majority or not in the Legislative Council, can become a ruling party. There is no incentive for legislators to cooperate with the government."

The chief executive cannot be a member of any political party or do anything that has that effect, according to the ordinance.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is frequently criticised for not listening to the views of lawmakers. But political commentator Danny Fung Chun-chiu said the pan-democrats, who have shown increasing hostility towards Leung, should also take responsibility for the situation. "It takes two to tango and both [the legislature and the government] should be held responsible for [worsening relations]," he said.

Leung himself is not prepared to admit that relations have deteriorated, even after police had to be called into the Legislative Council chamber early this month when independent Wong Yuk-man hurled a glass in his direction. Wong was later arrested and released on bail. It came after other pan-democrats had staged a walkout at the start of the meeting. They wanted Leung to take seriously the huge turnout at the July 1 pro-democracy march. Yet Leung said last week: "There is no problem between the executive and legislative branches."

Leung's attitude was not helping, said Fung. "[Leung] may be part of the problem; if you don't think there's a problem, you won't try to resolve it."

The legislature has been almost paralysed by protests in recent months, with filibustering by radicals delaying voting on government proposals.

Cheung said the root of the problem was discontent with the political system, and distrust of Leung - who is seen by some as Beijing's man in Hong Kong. In the first seven months of his term, beginning July 2012, Leung faced a confidence vote in the legislature and an impeachment vote.

But the main source of conflict is Beijing's promise that the chief executive poll in 2017 will be the first held under universal suffrage, with many fearing that the city will end up with a watered-down version of democracy.

Some, like lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, of radical prodemocracy group People Power, are not prepared to compromise. "Unless we have genuine democracy, I see no way out," he said.

Chan's party has "declared war" with the government, vowing to stonewall any policies tabled in the legislature. That has left 17 funding requests facing a delay of at least three months - including three landfill extensions, an incinerator project and a low-income family allowance.

Legco's Finance Committee extended to Saturday its final meeting before the summer break to deal with a huge backlog of funding requests due to filibustering by Chan, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen of People Power and Gary Fan Kwok-wai of the NeoDemocrats. They were trying to block of HK$340 million funds for new-town developments in the northeastern New Territories. The People Power duo, with Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, had earlier delayed voting on the budget bill by tabling most of the 1,192 amendments that pushed the debate to 130 hours over 14 days.

Relations have also soured between the government and the pro-establishment Liberal Party since it refused to toe the line last year over free-TV licences. James Tien Pei-chun has said Leung is at risk of becoming a lame duck.

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nmp_inc
HK does have a ruling party - the CCP. The executive-led system of HK is part of the socialist system. The CE is appointed by the central authorities who have vetted him or her. Whether they are a card carrying member or not, at the very least they are sympathetic to the CCP. There is no party affiliation allowed for principle SAR officials like the CE because then it would give the appearance of the CCP sharing power when it considers itself a ruling party. Even if they declared the DAB one of the "democratic parties in China" they probably still would not remove the 'no party' affiliation requirement because ultimately whoever is in the CE seat is Beijing's man or woman through and through. The party of "yes".
ricardohui
Funny enough. Obviously, the ruling party as you can see is DAB. Without DAB, how the gov could get through the legco on those controversial issues.
cleareye
Pretty shallow comment from the professor. Pro-Est is de facto a majority party that supports the government, and where are we now? The minority still hold the LegCo hostage. This article just shows how our academics know little about governments and politics, and translating the same misconception to the students and the public. The professor holds the same believe of someone by buying a home gym, he will automatically get in shape with an awesome body.
Dao-Phooy
There is blame on all sides - what about the Financial Secretary refusing to amend the agenda? The Administration was just as willing as the radicals to hold non-controversial items to hostage. Why not include this point in your article?
Carparklee
Indeed, our CE: 孤家寡人
ejmciii
Hmm, like he is not a member of the Chinese communist party. As if the Masters in Beijing would entrust the control of HK to a non-communist? Only communists can rule. Others are genetically incapable of governing. How can you rule if your daddy was not one of Mao's or Deng's buddies. How silly.
 
 
 
 
 

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