Robert Chow, convener of the pro-Beijing Alliance for Peace and Democracy, said the Occupy protests have made it a must for the central government to pre-screen candidates in the 2017 chief executive election, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
Chow said screening is necessary to prevent people who are against the central government from taking advantage of the implementation of universal suffrage in Hong Kong, adding that concerns over foreign powers intervening in Hong Kong affairs have heightened following the 79-day civil disobedience campaign.
Pan-democrats blasted Chow’s comments as absurd, noting that Beijing’s mistrust is the root of current political tensions in Hong Kong.
Professor Lok-sang Ho, a professor of economics and director of the Center for Public Policy Studies at Lingnan University, said Beijing obviously needs an election with pre-screening as the protests have added to its worries.
Barrister Lawrence Ma Yan-kwok of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong said if the pan-democrat lawmakers who have been arrested for illegal assembly are convicted and sentenced to jail terms of over one month, they may lose their seats in the Legislative Council.
Under that scenario, the pro-establishment camp would be able to secure two-thirds of the votes required to pass the bill on universal suffrage arrangements for 2017.
Ma said the conviction of the pan-democrat lawmakers in court is the only way the government’s political reform proposal can pass Legco.
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