Date
12 December 2017
Pan-democrats are shown after signing an agreement on Aug. 20 to vote against an election reform proposal that does not comply with international standards. Photo: HKEJ
Pan-democrats are shown after signing an agreement on Aug. 20 to vote against an election reform proposal that does not comply with international standards. Photo: HKEJ

27 pan-democrats to vote against Beijing election package

Twenty-seven pan-democrats will vote down Beijing’s election reform package for the 2017 chief executive election, raising the likelihood the proposal will not pass muster in Hong Kong’s legislature.

On Sunday, the National People’s Congress rubber-stamped a proposal that gives the central government control of the outcome of the election by limiting the number of candidates to three and requiring each to have the support of more than half of a nominating committee packed with Beijing loyalists.

Within hours, the announcement was greeted with fierce protests by pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.

They called the proposed framework, which provides for the first direct election of a leader in a Chinese city, Beijing’s “fake version” of universal suffrage.

The proposal needs an endorsement by two-thirds of Hong Kong’s 70-strong legislature, which means it will have to gain enough support from pan-democrats.

Pan-democratic legislator Frederick Fung said 23 pan-democrats will “definitely oppose the proposal”, along with Albert Chan and Ray Chan of People Power, Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats and Raymond Wong, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

Emily Lau said her Democratic Party allies will also block its passage.

Basic Law Committee chairman Li Fei warned pan-democrats that if they tie up the political reform proposal as happened in 2005, Hong Kong might face a longer political fight instead of losing one round in its campaign for democracy, the report said.

Earlier, he called their demands for international norms in the election reform proposal their own “personal standards” and said the chief executive candidate must “love and support the central government” or there is no “one country, two systems”.  

Meanwhile, Hong Kong 2020, a pro-democracy group led by former chief secretary Anson Chan, urged Hong Kong people not to fall for fake universal suffrage.

She said Beijing’s decision to sidestep election proposals from moderates will push more people into the radical camp, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong vowed to continue the fight for genuine universal suffrage.

Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang called on pan-democrats to adopt a “sensible and feasible attitude” toward the election proposal for the sake of Hong Kong, the report said.

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