• Sun
  • Oct 26, 2014
  • Updated: 7:55am
Universal Suffrage
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POLITICS

Take it or leave it, NPC tells city as it endorses framework for 2017 poll

As top legislature endorses a tougher-than-expected framework for 2017 poll, Beijing warns that a Legco veto could harm the city's development

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 September, 2014, 5:55am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 September, 2014, 7:55pm
 

The nation's top legislature yesterday endorsed a tougher-than-expected framework for Hong Kong's first "one man, one vote" chief executive election in 2017 - sparking condemnation from pan-democrats and an Occupy Central vow to go ahead with its civil disobedience campaign.

Watch: Protesters and lawmakers react to Beijing's dictum on leadership reform

The framework, approved unanimously by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, allows only two or three candidates to run. They will need approval from a majority of a 1,200-strong nominating committee. Methods for electing the committee, its composition and size will be "in accordance with" those of the election committee that decided the 2012 poll. It will be divided between four sectors and largely chosen by about 250,000 individual and corporate voters in dozens of subsectors.

The focus now moves to Hong Kong, where officials will fight to win over the five pan-democratic lawmakers they need to win a two-thirds majority for the package in the Legislative Council. But all 27 pan-democrats yesterday said they would vote against any plan based on Beijing's framework, and Occupy Central leaders said they would put into motion a series of protests culminating with 10,000 activists blocking streets in the heart of the city.

 

Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei and Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying called on the public and politicians to seize the opportunity of universal suffrage. Li warned that a Legco veto could drag Hong Kong into a longer debate that would harm the city's development. "Some people say that if we don't have universal suffrage in 2017, we can do it again in five years' time. But … it would be impossible for the development opportunities that were lost to come again," Li said.

DON'T MISS: Hong Kong's 'era of disobedience' has begun, says Occupy leader

Chen Zuoer, former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, warned Beijing would not turn a blind eye if Occupy Central spiralled out of control. If it did, Beijing would "handle the situation according to Article14 of the Basic Law", the clause under which the city government can seek help from the People's Liberation Army.

But Occupy organisers were defiant as supporters rallied outside government headquarters in Admiralty. "Today is the darkest day of Hong Kong's democratic development. The road of dialogue has come to an end and the occupation of Central will definitely happen," co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting said.

Watch: Occupy Central leaders promise civil disobedience campaign in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong government is expected to bring forward a detailed reform plan later this year.

A government source said pan-democrats should give serious thought to the progress that allowing five million people to vote for their leader would represent. "Democratic development will come to a standstill if universal suffrage can't be achieved in 2017," the source said. "The central government will stick to the framework set by the Standing Committee in future."

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said universal suffrage went beyond "one person, one vote" with any true democratic election offering voters a real choice. "We are not North Korea," she said.

Watch: Scholarism protest against NPC decision outside of Beijing official Li Fei's hotel

Additional reporting by Teddy Ng and Adrian Wan


Key points

  • The nominating committee will be formed "in accordance with" the make-up of the 1,200-strong election committee from the 2012 poll
  • The committee will nominate two or three candidates "in accordance with democratic procedures"
  • Each candidate will need the endorsement of more than half of the committee's members
  • All eligible voters will then be able to vote on the selected candidates
  • The winning candidate will have to be appointed chief executive by the central government
  • If no reform plan is approved, the method of election will be the same as that used in the 2012 election

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This article is now closed to comments

Hail the bulest!
To be fair, even if occupy central goes in a violent way(which I strongly believe it will not), the pan-democracitc parties will still not getting the things they want. Everyone who have read the art of war know that understanding your opponent is crucial, the pan-democratic parties are using the Thailand's " give me or I will occupy" method to get what they want.Mainland China is not as free politically as Thailand, it is not even a western country( which unfortunately will not allow this to happen neither). As for their last and only hope,the international intervention, is even more remote.America and her allies do have big economical interest in Hongkong, but they have bigger interests in China, and I seriously doubt President Obama and his international friends will risk break the relationship with China at the same time to do anything significant in Hongkong. The president would want to avoid to be the biggest foreign policy's loser in American history who have got himself four foreign policy's disasters .Although I sincerely trust the quality of HongKonger that they can avoid this worst possible scenario from happening, even if the pan-democratic party use their last card on hold, their political dream will not come true.
partridge
China, smarten up, please -- I hate to be classist about this, but you are not dealing with the peasant masses here; you need to understand that whether you like it or not, negotiation towards some form of the democratic polity is the only route you can honourably go in Hong Kong. Neither international opinion nor history are kind to those who just try to bully their way through.
Camel
This is a very black day for Hong Kong. I give a s...t on what all the foreigners say to this but as a HKner I feel very sad. CCP and Pan Dems. They will get what they sew. HK is going down. We are too naive and green for what we want and too stupid for what we get.
daily
HK'rs are still dreaming in their virtual world if they think they can make China budge............if you don't like it, pack up your bags and leave or stay around and live with it...........It's that simple. Benny Tai can make an arsse of himself and proceed with the OC and there should be enough forces out to rid this nuisance................We dare you Tai!
timeasia
Can't wait for the showdown. Really want to see the PLA in action. If it happens, we can have more memorials like the June 4th....
kctony
There will be no PLA. Beijing won't make the same mistake again.
I worry some one under the mask of anti-OC with motive to cause a riot so the property & stock market will crash.
Perfect condition for a 1967 repeat.
5402c6f3-b6d0-4f58-8767-52a60a3209cb
It will seriously harm hongkong economics
michaelhctam@gmail.com
if these people shake the wasp nest, they should know the consequence.
relevantparties
With all do respect I don't think the economics are the thing to be worrying about. Economics ain't going to matter much to those who are dead or in hospital or to their families. There's a lot more to life than financial gain.
KwunTongBypass
Let me guess what's up during the next couple of years:
- Imposition of Article 23 (second try)
- Introduction of National Education (second try)
- New 'rules' for media and internet to combat 'spreading of rumors'
- New 'guidelines' for NGOs (shut them up)
- 'Closer integration' of Hong Kong Police with PLA garrison (putting it under the PLA)
- 'Harmonization' of HK tax system with the mainland (after all we should also help paying for all the new toys the PLA needs, no?)
- Expansion of the HKSAR by merging with Shenzhen and move of the CE- office to the "NEW HALL OF THE HONG KONG PEOPLE" in Futian.
etc. etc. .
and all will be perfectly well explained under the flag of loving the country

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