12 December 2018
The government's electoral reform proposal has been soundly defeated in the legislature. Photo: AP
The government's electoral reform proposal has been soundly defeated in the legislature. Photo: AP

No hope for restarting political reform in near future

Following the rejection of the Beijing-prescribed electoral reform package, Hongkongers are not expecting the government to restart the process of reforming the method for the election of the chief executive any time soon.

Benny Tai, an organizer of last year’s Occupy Central movement, said the chance of the government restarting political reform is slim, RTHK reported.

“Every party will put its effort into the next year’s Legislative Council election,” he said.

Tai said that if the pan-democrats can retain the people’s support and keep at least one-third of the seats in Legco, then it may be possible that Beijing will consider revising the framework it set out on Aug. 31 last year and thus restart the reform.

Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing said it is a pity the reform package was voted down, as it was a historic opportunity for progress in Hong Kong’s democratic development.

He said the government will focus on economic and livelihood issues during the rest of its term.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress (DAB) of Hong Kong lawmaker, Ip Kwok-him, who was one of those who led the walkout from Legco of pro-establishment legislators during the vote Thursday, admitted responsibility for what happened.

He said the only concern at the time was to buy time for rural strongman Lau Wong-fat to arrive and vote by denying the proceedings a quorum, but the move was not managed well.

He apologized to Hongkongers who supported the reform package.

Liberal Party legislator James Tien Pei-Chun, one of the eight pro-establishment lawmakers who stayed and voted for the bill, said Beijing will lose confidence in the DAB after the incident.

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EJ Insight intern reporter

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