In the press

Updated: 2013-07-12 06:23

(HK Edition)

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In the press

Election ideas out of tune

The Alliance for True Democracy (ATD) has proposed three alternative formats for the 2017 Chief Executive Election by universal suffrage, but none of them is acceptable because they all violate the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC). Individuals as well as parties are welcome to submit their own plans for the election through universal suffrage as long as the plans comply with the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPCSC. The alliance is actually obstructing efforts to implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong by trying to do it outside the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPCSC. If it is genuinely interested in achieving universal suffrage, it must not try to break the Basic Law and relevant decisions of the NPCSC.

One of the three alternatives proposed by the ATD calls for a 1,500-member Nomination Committee (NC) that would include current-term district councilors directly elected by popular vote, while another proposal suggests that the NC be made up of 400 members from 20 constituencies, each producing 20 members through proportional election. Its third alternative suggests that the NC include all current-term district councilors and legislative councilors for a total of about 500. However, the NPCSC had decided on Dec 29, 2007 that "the Nomination Committee can be formed in line with the existing provision in Appendix I of the Basic Law concerning the formation of the Nomination Committee." None of the three alternatives offered by the ATD complies with this decision.

The alliance's proposals suggest that anyone supported by one-tenth of NC members or, in the first and third formats, supported by 2 percent or more voters (roughly 70,000-80,000) in direct elections qualifies for the Chief Executive election. These ideas are all in conflict with Article 45 of the Basic Law, which stipulates that the method of selecting the Chief Executive is aimed at eventually electing the city's leader by universal suffrage, and that the candidates must be chosen by a democratically elected NC through a democratic process. In the words of NPC Law Committee Director Qiao Xiaoyang, Article 45 can be shortened to "the NC chooses CE election candidates", which cannot be interpreted as "certain NC members choose CE candidates" from the mainland's statutory system's point of view or that of Hong Kong's common law system.

This is an excerpted translation of a Wen Wei Po editorial published on July 11.

(HK Edition 07/12/2013 page1)