Civil Rights and Liberties

Minister says no need to reaffirm UN vow

The government yesterday refused to reaffirm its pledge to the UN that functional constituencies in the legislature were only a transitional measure before universal suffrage is introduced.

Thursday, 29 April, 2010, 12:00am

Collective effort

Putting together a constitutional reform package for 2012 that is acceptable to all has not been easy from day one. There are both constitutional and political constraints. Constitutionally, under the so-called five-step process, the current government under Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is only mandated to deal with electoral arrangements for 2012.

21 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Make the most of an uninspiring reform plan

When Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen unveiled the government's package of electoral proposals for 2012, he said more than 47,200 written submissions had been received during the consultation period.

19 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Seats offer fails to convince democrats

Pan-democrats are being wooed by the government to support its constitutional reform proposal with an offer to scrap appointed seats in the district councils, a day after saying there was no room for compromise.

But the offer has received lukewarm response, despite fresh suggestions that a top Beijing official may visit Hong Kong to meet lawmakers over the negotiating table.

16 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Tang to unveil revised electoral proposals today

Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen will today unveil the government's revised proposals for electoral changes in 2012. They won't look much different to those the administration proposed in November, though they will contain minor concessions, such as the phasing out appointed seats on the 18 district councils.

14 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Big question on the road to reform

They wanted to take on their political rivals in an electoral showdown over the course of the city's democratisation, but they have ended up facing a ragbag of fringe candidates.

9 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Five from youth group join Legco by-elections

The prospect of competitive by-elections being used as a 'de facto referendum' on universal suffrage now looks increasingly likely, after five members of the youth group Tertiary 2012 submitted their nominations yesterday to contest all five constituencies in May.

2 Apr 2010 - 12:00am

Democracy haters are taking aim at our liberties

Short-term political expediency poses a very real danger to Hong Kong's freedoms and rule of law. Yet, as the Legislative Council by-elections draw close, the government and its allies are conjuring a small storm of measures that will both undermine Hong Kong's practice of free and fair elections and challenge a fundamental principle underpinning the legal system.

26 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Britain's watchful eye should look deeper

The British government, in its latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong - covering the second half of last year - told Parliament that the 'one country, two systems' principle of the Joint Declaration has worked well and that the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Joint Declaration have been respected.

1 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Time to seize opportunity for constitutional reform

The public consultation on constitutional reform has been dominated for much of the past three months by disputes over a plan by five pan-democrat lawmakers to trigger by-elections by resigning.

20 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

Reform proposals under fresh attack from legal experts

Another group of legal experts has criticised the government's proposal for reforming the Legislative Council, saying it exacerbates the inequality of voting power that already blemishes the legislature.

11 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

Reform paper flouts Basic Law, Law Society says

The absence of a detailed explanation in the government's consultation document on political reform of how universal suffrage will be implemented breaches the Basic Law's principle of 'gradual and orderly progress', the Law Society says.

4 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

At a glance

Why is there a de facto referendum?

27 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Time to put an end to corporate voting

Public registers of Hong Kong voters are hardly mines of information. But patient inspection unearths ammunition for critics of the snail's pace of reform of the city's electoral system. It reveals the full extent to which the present arrangements deliver disproportionate representation in the legislature to a fraction of the community.

11 Jan 2010 - 12:00am


Authoritarians have collection of 'baggage', too

Michael Chugani ('Democracy amok', January 4) identifies the baggage of democracy and he is not wrong. However, I would suggest he throws in the balance the baggage of autocracy and authoritarianism, from which Russia, China and Germany have suffered mightily in the last century.

9 Jan 2010 - 12:00am