Pro-Beijing figures say 50pc approval threshold for nominating candidates is "reasonable"
Tony Cheung , Joyce Ng and Peter So
A requirement for aspiring chief executive candidates to secure support from half the nominating committee for the 2017 election would be reasonable, two leading Beijing-friendly figures said yesterday.
The remarks by a National People's Congress deputy and a legal scholar came hours after another prominent deputy said he expected Beijing would include such a requirement in its election blueprint this month.
The growing indications of a 50 per cent threshold - rejected by pan-democrats who said it denied voters a real choice - raised the question of how the government would be able to win over democrats to gain the required two-thirds Legislative Council majority for its reform package.
"I have heard that the 50-percent threshold could reflect the requirement for the nominating committee to put forward candidates as an organisation" rather than as individuals, deputy Dr David Wong Yau-kar said, referring to Beijing officials' stance on the nominating method.
"So the [threshold] complies with the Basic Law."
Basic Law Committee member Johnny Mok Shu-luen echoed Wong's view.
Even a private company would require at least half of its board members' endorsement to make a decision, he said in an interview with Cable TV.
NPC deputy and executive councillor Bernard Chan said earlier that he expected Beijing to put forth the requirement when the NPC Standing Committee met this month to deliver a framework for the reform.
Occupy Central co-organiser Dr Chan Kin-man said if the threshold was adopted they would mobilise supporters for a sit-in in the financial district. Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said she would talk to Occupy organisers before deciding when to protest.
Wong made his comments after meeting the Democrat Party to discuss political reform.
He said they discussed nominating thresholds, and would reflect those views to the central government if he was asked to attend the Standing Committee meeting. Apart from Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, Hong Kong's only member of the committee, Basic Law Committee deputy director Elsie Leung Oi-sie and at least six other local deputies, including Wong, are slated to attend.