Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said the second round of public consultation on political reform will begin in October and last for about two months, allowing the government to submit its proposal to the Legislative Council between January and March 2015, Ming Pao Daily reported on Tuesday.
Lam revealed the schedule during a meeting with Robert Chow, convenor of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, and representatives of 18 Scholars, a group of academics, whose proposal allows a number of voters to “recommend” their preferred candidates for the 2017 chief executive election, the report said.
Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan said two months is not sufficient for consultation and feared the government is only putting up a show to railroad its preferred system for the 2017 election.
Echoing Lee’s view, fellow lawmaker Alan Leong said real consultation would allow enough time for discussion and debates.
Members from the pro-establishment camp, such as Wong Kwok-kin of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, also agreed that two months is too short, but would like to hear the schedule directly from the chief secretary.
Meanwhile, representatives from five trade bodies said in a joint press conference on Monday that workers should not participate in any illegal activities. They were from the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong.
However, all of them said they would not force employees to sign any petition or ban them from taking part in the Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign.
Occupy Central founder Chan Kin-man said the government is becoming increasingly stubborn, as evidenced by the arrests of organizers of the July 1 pro-democracy march.
Chan agreed with the criticism that the group’s plan to occupy Central to press their demand for universal suffrage would create short-term inconvenience to the public, but he stressed that the long-term benefit is to have a government that listens to the people. This in turn would improve the business environment in the city, he said.
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