23 October 2016
Raymond Tam says the draft bill is unchanged from an April 22 version. Photo: NOW TV
Raymond Tam says the draft bill is unchanged from an April 22 version. Photo: NOW TV

Govt to submit election bill to Legco June 17

The government will send a draft election bill to the Legislative Council on June 17 and expects lawmakers to vote on it soon after.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam said the proposal is unchanged from an April 22 version unveiled by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam.

He said there will be no last-minute changes.     

Tam expressed hope the bill will pass but said winning enough votes will be difficult.

On Tuesday, the proposal won backing from tycoon Lee Shau-kee, chairman of Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd., and Lau Siu-kai, vice chairman of the semi-official Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies.

Lau told public broadcaster RTHK that a veto will worsen divisions among pan-democrats and further undermine their relationship with the government. 

He said Hong Kong people are fed up with politics and are unlikely to support any more protests against the proposal. 

However, he said the chance of having the election reform package passed in Legco is small but the result of the voting will not affect the central government’s policy on Hong Kong.

Lee announced his support for the proposal at a Henderson Land general meeting.

“If the package is passed, it would bring a congenial atmosphere to the Legislative Council and minimize filibusters,” Lee said.

He said it will ensure Hong Kong’s continued prosperity and strengthen its status as an international financial hub.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the election reform package is consistent with the aim to promote the long-term interests of society.

Meanwhile, Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo said Tuesday she will veto the proposal, calling it “fake universal suffrage”.

She said Hong Kong is being deprived of true democracy for “vague national security reasons”.

Lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung, who represents the pro-labour Neighbourhood Workers Service Centre, said Beijing has never wanted to see democratic development in Hong Kong. 

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EJ Insight intern reporter

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