HK reform plan most suitable: official

By Yuen Yeuk-laam Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-1 0:13:02

54 regional lawmakers, including opposition, meet Beijing representatives

The electoral reform plan advocated by the Hong Kong government is the most suitable universal suffrage system and it is impossible that changes will be made to it before implementation, a top official stressed Sunday during a meeting with Hong Kong legislators in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.

Fifty-four Hong Kong legislators, including 14 opposition members, met with three Beijing officials Sunday morning, including Li Fei, chairman of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee under the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).

The local legislature of Hong Kong will vote in mid-June on the regional government's package of reforms related to the 2017 chief executive election.

During the four-hour meeting, Li stressed that the proposed electoral reform package was democratic, open, fair and just and that it is the universal suffrage model most suited to the region's current political situation.

He reiterated that Hong Kong's chief executive must be loyal to both the country and the region, while having candidates picked by a 1,200-member nominating committee showed the central government's trust in the region and the justness of the proposed electoral system. 

He said the central government has already solicited opinions from Hong Kong society and that the reform package has received broad public support.

The plan was designed within a framework issued by the NPC on August 31 last year. The NPC allowed the nomination of two to three candidates by a nominating committee who would then be voted on by all eligible Hong Kong citizens from 2017 onward.

"Voting against the reform plan would deprive all Hongkongers of voting rights," Li said. 

Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a local lawmaker, told the Global Times that the talks were effective as they made it clear to the opposition that it is impossible to restart the reform process.

"Many pan-democratic lawmakers have been misguiding the public, saying that it is possible to restart the reform as long as they continue to oppose it. Some also misled citizens by saying that the views of many central government officials are not consistent. The talks have now eliminated such beliefs," she said. 

Some pan-democratic lawmakers however said that they will vote against the proposal.

Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor warned at the meeting that if the plan is voted down, it will only create a losing situation and many people will be let down, reported Radio Television Hong Kong.

"If the reform plan is voted down, Hong Kong may lose its impetus to democracy ... which would result in more internal contradictions and obstruct the region's democratic development," Liu Zhaojia, deputy head of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, was quoted as saying by the Hong Kong-based newspaper Ta Kung Pao.

A poll conducted in May by DAB, Hong Kong's largest political party, revealed that 62 percent support the reform package.

Posted in: HK/Macao/Taiwan, Central government

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