Date
20 August 2017
A scholars group has proposed a 'list system' to choose candidates for Hong Kong's 2017 chief executive election, hoping to create middle ground between opposing political camps. Photo: HKEJ
A scholars group has proposed a 'list system' to choose candidates for Hong Kong's 2017 chief executive election, hoping to create middle ground between opposing political camps. Photo: HKEJ

Scholars’ electoral reform plan finds no takers

A group of academics has proposed a middle ground with regard to selection of candidates for Hong Kong’s 2017 chief executive election, but the suggestion failed to win backing from both the democrats as well as the pro-Beijing camp.

Under the proposal put forward by the 13-member scholar group, up to four candidates will be bundled together into a list and screened by a nominating committee. The committee will have to support or reject the whole list, which will contain candidates from both political camps.

The candidates, whose number will range from two to four, will need to receive at least 20 percent support from the nominating committee before they are bundled into the list.

The proposal came as China, at a parliament session later this month, is expected to reject a call for public nomination of candidates for the Hong Kong chief executive election.

The scholars believe their plan could prompt democrats and the pro-Beijing camp to negotiate and find a middle ground. A broader nomination committee can help prevent unreasonable filtering-out of candidates, while the larger process itself will be in line with the present electoral arrangement.

But the moderate reform plan has failed to garner support from both the political camps, Sing Tao Daily reported Tuesday.

Pro-Beijing parties have expressed reservations about the “list” system, while emphasizing their right to support or reject any candidate.

The scholars have proposed that the nominating committee should be expanded to 2,400 people from 1,200, with half of them from the four constituencies like before. The other half will be nominated by voters of the four constituencies and require the backing of at least 1,200 eligible citizens. Draw lots will happen if more than 1,200 candidates get 1,200 votes, Hong Kong Economic Journal said.

Sin Chung-kai from the Democratic Party said the proposal involves some screening and that it cannot pass the international standard.

Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the plan is too complicated and that pan-democrats may not accept it.

New People’s Party chairperson Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said it will take a long time for the whole process if one were to start over again after a list is rejected.

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