Civil Rights and Liberties

We must convince Beijing that universal suffrage is no threat

The government's decision to delay the consultation on political reform is proof again that it has neither the sincerity nor the courage to push through universal suffrage.

Monday, 2 March, 2009, 12:00am

Core issues remain for HK, report says

The US State Department's human rights report has concluded that the Hong Kong government 'generally respected the human rights of citizens', but it noted some 'core issues remained'.

Its 2008 human rights report on China, which includes a review of Hong Kong and Macau, highlighted areas that required attention.

27 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Court asked to suspend prisoner voting ruling

The judiciary was yesterday urged to suspend for nine months the effect of a landmark ruling that quashed the city's ban on prisoner voting, to give the government time to amend the law and implement other administrative arrangements.

24 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Let public opinion guide electoral reform

Hong Kong lost several years in the move towards universal suffrage when pan-democratic legislators in 2005 vetoed the political reform package proposed by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. As a result, there was no improvement whatsoever in the electoral arrangements in 2007 for the chief executive and in 2008 for the Legislative Council.

17 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

We can't get to 2017 without 2012 reforms

Does anyone seriously believe that a stalemate over democratic reforms for elections in 2012 would not deal a setback to the introduction of universal suffrage in 2017?

15 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Prison vote debate unlocks deeper issues

After the High Court ruled in December against the current blanket ban on prisoners' right to vote, a change in the decades-old policy is inevitable. The question is: how will it be done?

11 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Long-term prisoners may be denied the vote

The government is proposing to deny the vote to prisoners serving sentences of more than 10 years.

It is one of three ideas published for public discussion yesterday - two months after the High Court threw out the current blanket ban on inmates of Hong Kong jails voting.

10 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Allowing inmates to vote gives them role in society

The question is no longer whether prisoners should have the right to vote while paying their debt to society, but whether that right should be restricted. A blanket ban on prisoner voting was recently struck down as unconstitutional in the High Court. The government sensibly decided to respect the court's decision rather than lodge an appeal.

10 Feb 2009 - 12:00am

Move to delay start of prisoner voting

The government has asked for a 10-month delay in implementing a court ruling which allows prisoners to vote.

Lawmakers and activists criticised its request, saying human rights should not be curbed for administrative reasons.

15 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Move to delay the inevitable could backfire

It hardly seems coincidental. On the eve of a constitutional reform debate in the Legislative Council last Wednesday, pro-government legislator Tam Yiu-chung called for consultation on political reform to be deferred from the first to the second half of the year, or even next year.

12 Jan 2009 - 12:00am


There is a long-term future for functional constituencies

I am sure it was only out of altruism that functional constituency legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee moved at the January 7 Legislative Council meeting that the government should clarify whether the functional constituencies would be scrapped in 2012.

However, it is an unnecessary question.

11 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Legco warned on 'bundling' reforms

It's too soon to make plans for later elections, pan-democrats told

The government last night warned that 'bundling' the electoral arrangements for the 2017 and 2020 ballots with those for 2012 could stall the process of constitutional reform, as the issue of universal suffrage heated up again.

8 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Prepare for fresh wave of suffrage strife

When, just over a year ago, Beijing approved universal suffrage for the election of Hong Kong's chief executive and legislature in 2017 and 2020 respectively, a new era dawned.

4 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Anson Chan blasts 'lack of team spirit'

Problems in governance are inevitable because of a lack of team spirit and confusion about the relationship between political appointees and civil servants, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang says.

30 Dec 2008 - 12:00am

Rights group will urge UN to press HK government for full democracy

A local human rights group will urge the United Nations to press the Hong Kong government to introduce full democracy and improve human rights in the city, during a hearing early next year.

29 Dec 2008 - 12:00am