20 October 2016
Pan-democrats walk out the Legco chamber after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam announced the election reform package. Photos: i-Cable, RTHK
Pan-democrats walk out the Legco chamber after Chief Secretary Carrie Lam announced the election reform package. Photos: i-Cable, RTHK

Pan-democrats walk out of Legco after election proposal

Pan-democrats, led by Civic Party lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit, walked out of the Legislative Council chamber on Wednesday to denounce the election reform proposal announced by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

Leong said pan-democrats will veto the government’s universal suffrage package as it does not provide Hong Kong people with real choices for their next leader.

“We will not ‘pocket it first’ as it is actually ‘pock it forever’,” he said. “Lam said accepting this package means Hong Kong has fulfilled the requirement of Article 45 [of the Basic Law] for achieving universal suffrage.”

By vetoing the proposal, Hong Kong people will still have a chance to ask for a better proposal, Leong said.

Democratic Party chairperson Emily Lau Wai-hing said the party will veto the government’s “fake” universal suffrage proposal but will continue to persuade Beijing to change the decision it announced on Aug. 31, 2014 and offer real choices for the Hong Kong people in the 2017 chief executive election.

Pan-democrats said they will start a campaign to explain why it is better to veto the proposal than to accept it. 

The lawmakers’ walkout came after Lam announced the 2017 chief executive election package in the morning.

Under the proposal, a 1,200-member nomination committee, with the same structure as the existing election committee, will be formed. Each member can recommend only one candidate. 

Each prospective candidate needs at least 120 recommendations to enter the nomination stage. He or she can only gain up to 240 recommendations.

Five to 10 people are expected to be voted by the nomination committee members individually.

Each of them must gain at least 50 percent support from the committee in order to be nominated, up from the previous requirement of 12.5 percent. The top two to three people who gain the most support from the committee will become the chief executive candidates.

The public will vote for the two to three nominees.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said there is no room for any compromise regarding the proposal. He urged the pan-democrats to give up the hope of restarting the election reform. 

He also said he will appear in the government’s campaign to promote the proposal.

The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the chief executive election proposal is practical, rational and pragmatic. The pro-establishment camp said they will vote for the proposal. 

According to the Basic Law, an amendment to the chief executive election law needs the support of two-thirds of Legco members.

Even if assured of the vote of the pro-establishment lawmakers, the government still has to persuade at least four members of the pan-democratic camp to support the proposal to have it passed.

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