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Opinion / Editorials

'Occupy Central' unacceptable

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-30 07:26

The "Occupy Central referendum" organized by the radical faction of the opposition camp wrapped up on Sunday as all political parties and groups involved made their last effort to persuade as many people as they could to support this unconstitutional poll. However, no matter how hard they try, this poll will have no legal status.

According to well established international understanding, a referendumis the utmost constitutional exercise of direct democracy in representative democracies around the world. It must be initiated by the executive and legislative branches of the government and approved by the judiciary, according to the country's constitution. HongKong is a special administrative region of the country, and therefore does not have constitutional authority to hold a referendum. Only the Central People'sGovernment can be authorized to call a referendum when the National People's Congress finds it necessary and convinces the Supreme People's Court to give its blessing.

The "Occupy Central referendum" organizers are well aware of this basic constitutional knowledge, but they went ahead with their unconstitutional exercise, once again baring their readiness to break rules whenever they feel like doing so. They call it a "popular vote", only to be reminded by the SAR government that HongKong's existing law has nothing of the sort in its relevant codes. Where has their obsession with international standards gone when they count?

The socalled popular vote is supposed to decide which of three nomination methods should be adopted in the 2017 Chief Executive election, presumably by universal suffrage. The problemis that all three formats are practically identical in design and purpose. And the organizers havemade it crystal clear that all votes will be counted as supporting the opposition camp's unconstitutional demands, no matter which format one chooses.

What is even more amazing is that the US government has repeatedly expressed unconditional support for this poll in additionto funding illegal activities in HongKong through various "private" channels. Nowtheworld is witnessing yet another unconstitutional political charade orchestrated in the name of freedomand democracy.

The central government has been sincere in advancing democracy in Hong Kong. The way forward is well outlined by the Basic Lawand decisions of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. Any other propositions are not constitutionally viable.

 

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