Date
23 November 2017
The electoral framework laid down for Hong Kong by the NPC Standing Committee can be changed, CASS says in its Blue Book of Rule of Law (inset). 
Photo: Xinhua, http://www.china.com.cn/
The electoral framework laid down for Hong Kong by the NPC Standing Committee can be changed, CASS says in its Blue Book of Rule of Law (inset). Photo: Xinhua, http://www.china.com.cn/

NPC plan for HK not written in stone, Beijing think tank says

The framework laid down by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee for the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s chief executive is not inflexible, an official think tank said.

In its 2015 Blue Book of Rule of Law, published Wednesday, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said the plan announced August 31 by the NPCSC is not “unshakeable”, as some officials have claimed, Apple Daily reported Thursday.

The think tank endorsed the proposal and said it is impossible for the NPCSC itself to take the initiative to change it.

But if the central government considers the framework inappropriate, it can change or revoke it, CASS said. 

It also said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying proposed that the government allow individual members to replace corporate representatives on the election nominating committee, which is a way to ensure the nominating committee is formed democratically.

Civic Party leader Alan Leong Ka-kit said the NPCSC’s plan is indisputably improper and hurts the feelings of Hongkongers. Pan-democratic lawmakers will veto it without hesitation, he said.

The political reform process should go back to square one, as CASS suggested is possible, Leong said.

Fellow legislator Chan Yuen-han, honorary president of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, a pro-Beijing group, said the remarks in the Blue Book at least let people feel there is room for discussion on political reform.

Chan said while she did not think the NPCSC’s framework will be changed in any way whatsoever, it is possible for the legislature to do more, such as by making formation of the nominating committee more democratic.

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TL/AC/FL

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