Public nomination is still possible in chief executive election
There have been numerous recent references to the five alternative methods for election of chief executive proposed in 1988 during the Basic Law drafting, without identifying the terms of each alternative.
Under option one, the chief executive would be elected by a broadly representative electors' college of about 600, who would elect a nominating committee of 20 members to nominate three chief executive candidates. They would have to win over half the votes to be elected. The winner would be referred to the central government for appointment.
Under the second option, the chief executive would be nominated by no less than one-tenth of the members of the legislature and directly elected by a general election. The election would have to be genuine and held at regular intervals. The right to vote would be universal and equal. And the election would be by secret ballot to ensure free expression of the will of the voters.
In option three, the chief executive would be elected by a functional electoral college of no more than 600 on a one-person, one-vote basis. Any person qualified under Article 44 and nominated by no fewer than 50 permanent residents could become a chief executive candidate.
Under the fourth proposal, the electoral college would have between 250 and 600 members. Three chief executive candidates would be nominated by an advisory group and after central government approval, would be voted on by the electoral college.
With the fifth option, the chief executive would be elected by all voters by one-person, one-vote. Three candidates would be nominated, through consultation or by ballot after consultation, by a broadly representative nominating committee. It would formulate a procedure for consultation and balloting and nominate chief executive candidates.
A consultation report on the draft Basic Law also recommended that the words "towards a general election by universal franchise" be inserted in Article 45 after "the principle of gradual and orderly progress".
In Hong Kong the people occupied the streets for 79 days to win genuine democracy and some form of public nomination in the election process.
Surely some form of public nomination can be included in the procedures devised by the nominating committee. Government stonewalling on this is the biggest filibuster in town. There must be some democrats who are acceptable to Beijing and could be trusted to govern at least as well as those to date and hopefully better.
Allan Woodley, Sydney, Australia