One of the lawmakers attending the chief secretary’s first business dinner on the subject of universal suffrage has vowed to walk out in protest at her “insincerity” on the constitutional reform consultation.
Gary Fan Kwok-wai, a pro-democracy lawmaker from the NeoDemocrats, criticised Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor for “turning a blind eye” to the 62,000 people who took part in last week’s University of Hong Kong poll on the subject – with 94 per cent saying the public should be allowed to nominate candidates for the 2017 chief executive election.
Lam, the No 2 official in the city, has invited all 70 lawmakers to her Peak residence over four evenings, starting tonight, although a few turned down the offer for different reasons.
Fan said: “I have no expectations of Lam responding to my comments positively.”
Fellow pro-democracy lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee is also on tonight’s guest list. “At this stage the real question is not about the consultation; it’s about how Lam can resolve the dilemma that there is, in effect, ‘sifting’ of candidates because ... Beijing will not allow anyone it does not trust to join the race and win the election,” said Fung.
He planned to tackle Lam on this issue.
Pro-government lawmaker Ng Leung-sing was due to be breaking bread at Victoria House alongside him. He was seeking reassurance that the status quo would not be abandoned.
“I’d ask Lam how to ensure a balanced participation of the functional constituency lawmakers in the nomination committee for the chief executive,” he said.
Constitutional and mainland affairs minister Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said yesterday that more dinners could be held if “the atmosphere is good”.
He added that the government had “high hopes” that the gathering would reach some consensus as the supports of two-thirds of lawmakers would be needed for the final proposal on universal suffrage to be approved.