An Executive Council member has named two senior members of the Civic Party as being eligible to become candidates for chief executive in the 2017 election, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun singled out legislators Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, who are considered moderate pan-democrats, in a radio program on Wednesday.
Law said Tong and Kwok, who visited Beijing last month as part of a Hong Kong Bar Association delegation, have displayed their willingness to communicate and build trust with the central government, so they qualify to be candidates for chief executive.
Tong responded by saying it is an insult if anyone thinks he would change his mind and support the government’s electoral reform proposal merely because he has a chance to run for chief executive.
He said Law’s comments were not carefully thought through and could now make him an object of attacks by others.
Kwok, for his part, said he was disgusted at being named as a possible candidate.
Law said it is not difficult to tell from observing a politician’s words and behavior whether he or she is working against the Chinese Communist Party.
She said she believed there is only a small number of people who should be categorically ruled out as candidates.
The central government is determined to roll out universal suffrage in Hong Kong before introducing revisions to the electoral mechanism later on, Law said.
She called for legislators to pass the government proposal and said discussions to improve the electoral system can be held later.
Under the Basic Law, a candidate for chief executive must be at least 40 years old.
Kwok, who was born in April 1978, will be only 39 in 2017, making him ineligible to run for the top job.
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