Date
24 September 2017
Chan Kin-man (left) and Benny Tai (center) say they will continue with the Occupy Central movement. Photo:HKEJ
Chan Kin-man (left) and Benny Tai (center) say they will continue with the Occupy Central movement. Photo:HKEJ

Govt to push Article 23 after election reform, Tai says

The Hong Kong government will push for the implementation of Article 23 of the Basic Law if democrats accept Beijing’s universal suffrage framework for the city, according to Occupy Central leaders.

This would in turn give the central government a stronger mandate to clamp down on freedom in the city.

In the end, one country, two systems would also be gone, Apple Daily reported Monday, quoting Occupy Central convenors Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man.

Chan expects no improvement on the policy development in the coming eight years but continuous resistance.

Article 23 requires Hong Kong to implement laws against treason, secession and subversion. An attempt to enact the legislation was scrapped in 2003.

Tai said there would not be any changes to the election framework although the pro-Beijing camp says things can still be discussed.

If Beijing’s reform plan is accepted, it would help the central government push for Article 23, he said.

Chan said it would be horrendous if the framework is passed because Leung Chun-ying could claim recognition as chief executive even if he received 689,000 votes.

In 2012, Leung secured only 689 votes from the 1,200-member electoral committee to win the chief executive election.

Article 45 of the Basic Law is about universal suffrage. With that out of the way, Beijing would push for Article 23 implementation, especially with a so-called publicly elected government, Chan said.

Tai said it would be naive to think that the public can cast blank votes to spoil the chief executive election because Beijing would not allow its candidates to be defeated.

The convenors said they will continue with the Occupy Central movement to protect the people’s dignity.

“You will have no dignity if you still laugh when you’re humiliated,” Chan said.

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