• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 1:56am
NewsHong Kong

Majority in poll opposes Beijing screening candidates for top job

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 August, 2014, 4:18am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 August, 2014, 8:24am

More than half of Hongkongers say candidates should be allowed to run for chief executive in 2017 if they are endorsed by one-eighth of nominating committee members, a survey has found.

About 60 per cent wanted the Legislative Council to vote down any electoral reform package that screens out critics of Beijing.

Beijing-loyalist politicians have repeatedly said they expect the National People's Congress Standing Committee to require candidates to win half of the nominating committee's support to run in the election, the first time the city's leader will be picked by universal suffrage.

Arrangements for the election will be announced by the Standing Committee, which meets from August 25 to 31.

The Chinese University opinion poll was commissioned by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang's discussion group Hong Kong 2020.

She said: "If the Standing Committee sets the bar at over half of the nominating committee in order to qualify as a candidate, this would undoubtedly be a step backward. This would be a fake universal suffrage that is no different from [allowing] Beijing to hand-pick [a leader] … and it cannot solve the governance difficulties that Hong Kong [currently faces]."

Chan noted that the Democratic Party's Albert Ho Chun-yan was allowed to run in the 2012 election after meeting the one-eighth nominating requirement.

In the poll, in which 824 Cantonese-speaking Hongkongers were interviewed between August 6 and 11, 20.8 per cent wanted to keep the one-eighth nominating threshold; 32.7 per cent wanted it to be lowered; and 35.2 per cent wanted it to be raised.

If the government tables a proposal that screens out Beijing's critics, 59.8 per cent said lawmakers should veto it, while 30.6 per cent said that they should approve it.

This was in contrast to a Lingnan University opinion survey, commissioned by a 15-member group of businessmen and professionals, which found that 55 per cent of 1,017 people wanted a "one-person, one-vote" election in 2017 even if the nomination procedure was not "satisfactory".

On whether the two surveys contradicted each other, Chan said: "No, I don't think they are contradictory. For example, when you ask people whether they want to pocket a proposal that is not ideal, what is the definition of 'not ideal'?"



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This article is now closed to comments

I trust Anson Chan a lot more than that idiot Robert Chow, CY Leung, and all of his cabinet members, combined.
Easy response to this: if you don't trust Anson, hold your own free poll of Hong Kong residents (not mainlanders bussed in specially).
@williechow: what your question really amounts to is, 'should we trust the HK people?' Obviously, Beijing's answer to that is 'no'. It does not trust its own people. Very, very sad. But I guess self-preservation means the Communists cannot allow its people a real choice. It knows it would lose power (otherwise, why doesn't it have the courage to stand under its own name in any HK election?).
Gotta love the Beijing Supporters Choir getting all upset that perhaps their masters' voice is not winning over the people of HK to their absurd views. Pobrecito. Que lagrima!
Each successive CE has gone from bad to worse. People didn't trust Henry Tang but many now believe he could not have been worse than the present incumbent and his team of muppets. Beijing should realise that HK's unaccountable political appointments system is at the root of the administration's increasing incompetence, unethical conduct, fingers in the pie and collusion / corruption with vested interests at the highest levels.
We need a real choice of candidates with intelligence, ability, honesty and who would govern for the benefit of all the people, not the crony capitalist establishment.
They have to come up with something better unless they want the confrontation with HK's middle classes to escalate.
"The Chinese University opinion poll was commissioned by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang's discussion group Hong Kong 2020"
Are we to trust Anson Chan???!!!
She is only diverting attention from her rendezvous with the Americans and British that ended in total embarrassment. Martin Lee and she are still studying the Brit's rejection.
I like the method being adopted by more progressive states in the US: the top 2 in the primary go to the general election regardless of party affiliation. The extreme candidates at either end of the political spectrum are eliminated and the 2 with broad mainstream support are the candidates. This would work in HK if BJ trusted us. No one in the mainstream wants trouble with BJ.


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