• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 12:56am
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Moderate Hong Kong pan-democrats say no to Beijing's political reform draft

Four moderates, seen as targets of government lobbying, vow to vote against 2017 plan in Legco

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 August, 2014, 11:46pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 August, 2014, 10:10am

The political reform proposal hammered out in Beijing looks all but certain to be vetoed as four key pan-democrats promised to vote "No" if it is put to the Legislative Council in its current form.

The four moderate lawmakers were seen as the government's main lobbying target as it would need their support to secure the two-thirds majority required in Legco for the reform to pass.

They are Charles Mok, who represents the information technology sector, Kenneth Leung from accountancy, education's Ip Kin-yuen and Joseph Lee Kok-long from the health services sector.

Under an initial decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Wednesday, only two or three candidates would be able to run in the 2017 chief executive election, and they would need the support of half of a 1,200-strong nominating committee to get on the ballot.

Although the details have not been confirmed officially, Beijing has apparently ruled out any last-minute changes to the draft framework. A CCTV report last night said the members of the nation's top legislative body had made a "unanimous" call for the endorsement of the draft.

The Standing Committee will vote on the framework on Sunday. The Hong Kong government's proposed second round of public consultation later this year must conform to Beijing's framework.

The four pan-democrats all said the decision by the Standing Committee had essentially shut the door to further discussion.

"It is the worst scenario I can imagine," said Ip. "Certainly I will wait and see what the final wording looks like, but it looks all but certain that pan-democrats will be left with no choice but to veto the proposal."

The other three also said they would reject the proposal if Sunday's decision follows the draft, as it fails to give Hongkongers a genuine choice of candidates.

Executive councillor Cheng Yiu-tong, a local NPC deputy attending the meeting in Beijing, said the chances of the Standing Committee making last-minute changes to the draft document would be "almost zero".

Other moderates from both sides of the political spectrum also expressed disappointment at the draft document, saying they feared that Beijing's uncompromising stance would radicalise pan-democrats and make the city ungovernable.

A law lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, Eric Cheung Tat-ming - one of 18 academics who called for public recommendation of chief executive candidates in the nomination process - said Beijing had rejected all proposals suggested by moderates.

The chief executive of the Policy Research Institute, Andrew Fung Ho-keung, said he was disappointed with the framework and feared a backlash from pan-democrats.

And Dr Sung Yun-wing, a professor of economics at Chinese University, said: "What concerns me the most is a possible noncooperation campaign against the government. It would make governance more difficult in Hong Kong."

Organisers of Occupy Central vowed to begin a "continuous and long-term" civil disobedience campaign after the central government makes its ruling on Sunday.

Benny Tai Yiu-ting, co-founder of the Occupy movement, said yesterday he might announce details of the movement's "final resort" - a mass sit-in on the streets of Central - if the government fails to deliver a reform model that offers a genuine choice to voters.

Weekly protests would be held as part of the civil disobedience campaign.

But Tai promised the campaign would be peaceful and rational. "If the campaign begins to lose control or violent acts occur, I will stand at the front of the crowd to stop them," he said.

 

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

11

This article is now closed to comments

Mingbak
One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws
joyalsofi
'The political reform proposal hammered out in Beijing ...' The term 'hammered out' generally carries the connotation of an agreement arrived at after vigorous discussion. This does not seem to apply to the current situation where, we have learned, no changes have been made or are expected to be made to the draft proposal submitted to the NPCSC.
sipsip1238
Well, Beijing aren't known for their language skills, so maybe "hammered out" to them means just hitting things with a hammer until the the opposition dies
Chances are, if any of the moderates vote "no", ICAC will now magically find a million reasons to investigate these same people and deem them unfit for office.
ejmciii
Maybe they just got hammered as a joyous celebration over the death of One Nation, Two Systems and its replacement with "Do what we tell you, or else." That must get the Beijing sycophants all frisky and excited.
mh0908
My speculation is that the harder ball the pan-Dems play, Beijing will play it even harder in return. Just look back at Deng vs. the Iron Lady and see who lost. Revisit Sir Percy Cradock and try to understand Chinese politics.
-
One day, should things get too uncomfortable for Beijing, they can always tear up the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and declare "Game Over". If they do that, ask what you can do? All it takes is for Guangdong to turn off the tap and we will be dead in 7 days (is this how long it takes to die due to dehydration?). No need to fire a single bullet and we will be beaten into submission and come out at a much worse position.
-
Sir Percy Cradock lived though the cultural revolution in Beijing and knew what was capable of happening in China. He also mastered the art of negotiating and discussing concessions with Beijing. His realist approach should be adopted by all pan-Dems before it becomes too late to turn things around.
-
May Peace Prevail on Earth & May Stability Prevail in Hong Kong.
mh0908
Johnh: Hong Kong is at a cross road. Hong Kongers have a choice to work with Beijing to try to make our lives between now and 30 June 2047 better, or work against Beijing to make our lives difficult. This is real and this is how I see it.
-
As for the UN, I always wonder why it is absent from Crimea and Palestine. But I have no illusion as to the capability of the UN. I am a realist.
-
I only wish for peace and stability in Hong Kong. May Peace Prevail on Earth.
johnh
If the CCP ever did something so dastardly as cutting off the water or food supply, it would be a historical event remembered for several lifetimes as least, and would definitely result in revolt and most likely UN intervention. If you really care about Hong Kong, stop whining like a baby. Fear is the CCP's main tactic.
ejmciii
Like starving 20-30 million people because Mao wanted to supplant the previous empires with the Communist Dynasty? Not sure that bothers those tyrants too much.
mh0908
And thus, the core question is, how do Hong Kongers preserve our way of life for as long as possible with as much autonomy as possible and as little interference as possible. Furthermore, how can we protect this pass 30 June 2047?
johnh
mh0908: The best way to break a disease or bad habit is to do it quickly and immediately. It may be painful in the short term, but the result of inaction is a slow withering death that may never be reversed.
The way we preserve our way of life is that we aim for greater standards and accept nothing less. It is an excuse of the Communist Party that we "sacrifice" and compromise for the good of the "whole". Of course, by whole, they mean their small circle of politicians and cronies.

Pages

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or