Date
22 November 2017
Robert Chung says any one of the competing proposals on the 2017 chief executive election that is backed by at least two-thirds of voters in his proposed referendum should be passed by Legco.  Photo: HKEJ
Robert Chung says any one of the competing proposals on the 2017 chief executive election that is backed by at least two-thirds of voters in his proposed referendum should be passed by Legco. Photo: HKEJ

Top pollster backs referendum on election proposals

Competing proposals on the method of choosing Hong Kong’s next leader should be left to the electorate to decide, according to a top pollster.

Voters can choose from among the different proposals in a referendum and any one that gets at least two-thirds of the vote should be passed by the Legislative Council, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday, citing Robert Chung, director of the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Program.

If a Beijing-backed framework emerges as the voters’ choice, pan-democrat legislators should drop their opposition to it, Chung told public broadcaster RTHK in an interview on Thursday.

At least two months will be needed to organize the exercise, estimated to cost HK$1 million. 

Chung said lawmakers should lead the move to differentiate it from a private initiative or public polling.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen said the proposal hinges on pan-democrats’ support given that they have agreed in writing to vote against the Beijing framework.

In addition, there is no such mechanism in the Basic Law, he said, adding the government is not considering Chung’s idea.

Democratic Party chairperson Emily Lau said any such exercise will have to be legally binding on the government.

And Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Labor Party, said it must have a clear purpose to ensure a meaningful outcome.

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TL/AC/RA

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