Key details missing in report to Beijing, says barrister

Local government urged to provide 'supplementary' information to Beijing

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, 5:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 5:52pm

A Beijing-friendly barrister has urged the local government to tell the central government how Hongkongers would like to elect their leader in 2017.

Alan Hoo SC, also called on officials to persuade Beijing that the nominating committee to choose candidates for the city's first election under universal suffrage could include all directly elected district councillors.

Hoo, chairman of the non-government Basic Law Institute, said the local government in its report to Beijing last month had omitted key information about local viewpoints.

He said he was worried that without this "supplementary" information the National People's Congress Standing Committee would choose a "narrow" framework in its ruling this month on the city's political reform.

"It should provide the central government with an analysis of Hong Kong's actual situation. But if it doesn't mention it, or analyses it narrowly, the central government can only" make a decision according to what it is told.

In its report, the government included observations that there were "relatively more views" in Hong Kong that the nominating committee should be modelled on the current Election Committee.

This consists of four sectors - business, professional, social and political - with 300 members each. But Hoo suggested that it would help to reach consensus if local officials endorsed a bigger political sector that included all 400 district councillors.

A source close to Beijing said Zhang Xiaoming, director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, was likely to meet pan-democrats in groups as early as this week. A government source said the Standing Committee was expected to meet in the week starting August 24.

Meanwhile, Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said she would meet National People's Congress delegate David Wong Yau-kar today to discuss the constitutional reform, in the hope that Wong would pass the party's view to Beijing officials.

Separately, Henry Tang Ying-yen, a Standing Committee member, said Hongkongers should accept a reform proposal even if they deemed it imperfect as the electoral mechanism could be improved later.

"Candidates in the next chief executive election must respond to questions of how to improve the electoral system," he said.