A senior Hong Kong official has laid out the case for a Beijing-backed nominating committee that will vet prospective candidates for chief executive in 2017, a sticking point in the ongoing political crisis.
In a New York Times op-ed, Shiu Sin-por, head of the Central Policy Unit, said Beijing wants to have full confidence in the chief executive, “no matter who he or she is”.
“From the very beginning, Beijing has highlighted the need for national security so as to maintain a favorable environment for China’s national development,” he said.
Shiu said a completely open nomination process provides no such guarantee.
“Thus, the Basic Law stipulates a nomination process through a committee of elected members from different sectors of the community.”
Shui’s commentary appeared in the Oct. 14 issue of the Times and also on its online edition on a day Hong Kong police pressed on with a clear-out of protest sites.
He blamed the pan-democrats for creating conflict over Beijing’s electoral reform proposal by “having none of it”.
The pan-democrats want nomination by citizens or by political parties, which is in violation of the Basic Law, he said.
“What caused this confrontation is not what some people think: a fight against the denial of universal suffrage, the principle of one person, one vote,” he said.
“In fact, the irony is that the protests directly followed the acceptance by the highest legislative body in China, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, of the formal request of the Hong Kong government to allow for universal suffrage in the next election for the city’s chief executive, scheduled for 2017.”
Pro-democracy groups have dismissed Beijing’s framework for universal suffrage as “sham democracy”.
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