Li Fei, head of the Basic Law Committee, has held out hope that Beijing’s framework for the 2017 election for Hong Kong’s chief executive is not carved in stone for future elections.
But the plan set out by the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on August 31 must be put into practice before a decision is made on whether it should be revised, he said.
Hong Kong Bar Association chairwoman Winnie Tam quoted Li as saying in a meeting Tuesday with a 17-member delegation of the group in Beijing that the decision is legally binding, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
But she quoted him as saying any law can be changed in the future as long as it complies with the Basic Law.
If the electoral reform plan is passed, the method used to elect Hong Kong’s leader can still be revised, based on Clause 7 in Annex I of the Basic Law, Li was quoted as saying.
He said the election method has to be implemented first, and a decision whether to amend it will be taken after observing for some time how it works in practice.
When the lawyers expressed their concern to Li about the proposed composition of the 1,200-strong nominating committee that will select two or three candidates to stand in the election, Li said the key criterion for the formation of the committee is that it be broadly representative, implying that it already fits the bill.
Li, who is also deputy secretary general of the NPC Standing Committee, told the delegation the door for communication with pan-democrats is always open as long as they recognize Hong Kong and China as “one country”.
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