Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying urged lawmakers to attend a meeting Sunday with Beijing officials in Shenzhen instead of an event on the same day marking the Tiananmen Square massacre, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.
Leung said the Legislative Council will vote on the electoral reform bill soon and the meeting in Shenzhen presents lawmakers with a golden opportunity to interact with three key officials from the mainland.
When he was asked whether he thought the events commemorating the June 4, 1989, incident are not important, Leung said that was not what he meant.
He said June 4 commemorative events are held every year, and 2015 is not a special anniversary year.
There are many people who can take part in the commemorative events, Leung said, but only Legco members can vote on the bill for universal suffrage in the 2017 election for chief executive.
Legislators have the right to choose which activity to take part, he said.
Leung said it will take less than a day to attend the meeting in Shenzhen, including traveling time.
He called for all legislators, including the pan-democrats, to make the best use of this window of opportunity.
But lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, secretary of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, blasted Leung’s comments as “cold-blooded and frivolous” and said he was “rubbing salt in people’s wounds”.
Lee and fellow pan-democratic legislator Frederick Fung Kin-kee said Leung was trying to provoke conflicts by setting a date for the meeting with Beijing officials that coincides with June 4 commemorative events.
Executive Council member Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said legislators would find ways to adjust their calendar if they consider electoral reform to be an important item on their agenda.
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