More than a dozen academics have called on the pan-democrats to mount a united front against all official attempts to screen candidates for the 2017 chief executive election.
The “18 Scholars” issued the call in a joint declaration before a meeting Wednesday with former chief secretary Anson Chan, convener of the Hong Kong 2020 think tank.
According to various media reports, Chan was thinking of forming a new political grouping of moderate democrats but the declaration convinced her not to go ahead with the push.
Some reports suggested the 18 released the declaration to head off speculation that they were joining the new group and to avoid involvement in the stoush between moderate and radical democrats.
The academics include University of Hong Kong clinical legal education director Eric Cheung; Brian Fong, assistant professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education’s Asian and policy studies department; and Democratic Party member Law Chi-kwong, from the University of Hong Kong’s social work department.
The 18 said they are not a political group and want to raise proposals in their own names, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
The report cited Hong Kong 2020 research director Lee Wing-tat as saying that “Hong Kong 2020 will not set up a separate political platform, and what we are doing now is just strengthening the communication on political reform and uniting our views. We don’t have plans for next step yet.”
Chan is due to hold talks on political reform with other pan-democrats, including the Civic Party’s Ronny Tong, legislator Kenneth Leung and Charles Mok from The Professional Commons. She will also meet Frederick Fung from the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood and legislator Joseph Lee, Apple Daily reported.
The discussions are gaining pace as the pan-democrat camp readies to vote on June 22 on their preferred options for the nomination process for the next chief executive. Three proposals have been put forward in a poll organized by the Occupy Central movement.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong said voters will also be able to give feedback on which individual elements of the nomination process would be unacceptable.
– Contact us at [email protected]