China / HK Macao Taiwan

Former member of HK SAR chief's election committee voices support to universal suffrage plan

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-15 19:23

HONG KONG -- "It would be a great shame if the universal suffrage package failed to be passed at the Legislative Council (LegCo)," Nicholas Brooke, a former member of the Election Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region chief executive in 2012, said on Monday.

Brooke, who has been working in Hong Kong for over 30 years, voiced his support to the universal suffrage plan proposed by the government of the Hong Kong SAR.

He believes that democracy is an evolution process, which means it should be achieved step by step.

"Let's take what we've be offered and improve it over time. I think that's the majority view of Hong Kong," Brooke, chairman of the Professional Property Services Limited, told Xinhua.

The Hong Kong SAR government plans to submit the plan, which was revealed in late April, to the SAR LegCo for a vote on June 17, which means that the realization of a "one person, one vote" chief executive election in 2017 has entered a critical stage.

However, some Hong Kong legislators threatened to veto the universal suffrage plan, which envisages that candidates to be the next SAR chief executive will be picked by a 1,200-member nominating committee from four social sectors consisting of 38 sub- sectors.

"There are no international standards for election or democracy, " Brooke said, adding that each framework should "be shaped or tailored to suit an individual economy."

Hong Kong has been dogged by protests and demonstrations over the past year, undermining its rule of law and social harmony.

Brooke said he was concerned about the recurrence of the Occupy Central, calling the illegal movement "disruptive."

Stressing that the rule of law was essential to each society, he said no matter whether the protesters like the package or not, they should observe the rule of law.

"People need certainty of the rule of law. They feel protective by the rule of law. If the rule of law is threatened or not observed, the society could fall apart," Brooke said.

"The standards we have in Hong Kong were built on the rule of law. If you allow those standards to be eroded, then Hong Kong will suffer," he warned.

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