Liberal party drafts transition proposals

LIBERAL party Meeting Point is drafting its own proposals to ensure Hongkong's smooth transition to 1997 in the face of the protracted political row between Britain and China.

The plan might contain an alternative set of electoral arrangements for 1997 and beyond if Governor Mr Chris Patten's political package cannot straddle the 1997 change-over.

The party hopes to finalise the proposals before members visit China later this year.

The secretary-general of the party, Mr Lo Chi-kin, said the project intended to cover all aspects that were likely to be affected by the transfer of sovereignty.

But he brushed aside any suggestion that it might be seen as a contribution to China's plan to set up a ''new kitchen'', saying the party had ''never thought of this''.

''We just want to identify the problems and see if we can suggest some solutions,'' he said.


He said there were areas in the 1997 electoral arrangements that needed to be considered regardless of whether the 1995 electoral system could fully straddle 1997.

''It is a problem that electoral arrangements for 1995 and for 1997 have been treated as one issue since the emergence of the present political row,'' he said.

''Actually, there are areas which need to be clarified whether or not the 1995 arrangements can straddle 1997.

''For example, how do the members of the election committee mentioned in the Basic Law come out?'' He said the Basic Law mentioned only the composition of the 400-strong committee, but failed to describe clearly how the members were elected.


''We want to consider these kind of arrangements separately,'' he said.