10th April 2013
<Martin Proposes to Have 5 Candidates>
Qiao Xiaoyang, Chairman of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee and Deputy Secretary-General of the Standing Committee, recently talked about the “bottom line” the Chinese government is willing to accept about Hong Kong’s political reform. In response, Martin Lee Chu-Ming, the Founding Chairman of the Democratic Party, said he is willing to accept Qiao’s “bottom line” of having “institutional nomination” by the nomination committee. However, Lee said the precondition is each committee member has only one vote and the five candidates with highest number of votes can run for Hong Kong Chief Executive. Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, Convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy, said the Alliance would not accept Lee’s proposal and emphasised that the Alliance objects to any form of preliminary election and candidate filtering system.
Martin Lee proposed a “bottom line” for Hong Kong’s political reform in a media interview. According to him the proposal is to have a nomination committee of 1,200 (same as the current system) formulated the same way as the existing election committee is. Each committee will have one vote to nominate candidates, i.e. not plurality-at-large system, the 5 candidates with the highest number of votes will run for Chief Executive. Lee thinks that given that the pan-democrat candidates who ran at each of the previous Chief Executive elections got around a hundred votes, this proposal will at least enable a pan-democrat to run for office.
“This is not the perfect proposal, but at least it’s moving forward,” said Lee.
Lee emphasised that this proposal is not a fair and representative universal suffrage, and the public will have to continue fighting for a nomination committee elected by universal suffrage. “this is not ideal, but it is at least moving forward. At least the nomination process is not regressing. The pan-democrats can, as in previous elections, have one representative to run for office.”
Lee thinks that pan-democrats can negotiate with the China government, and all pan-democratic parties have to send representatives to participate.
Emily Lau Wai-Hing, Chairperson of Democratic Party, said that the proposal is Lee’s personal opinion. Prof. MA Ngok, Associate Professor at Chinese University, said Lee’s proposal does not deliver a fair and representative election, and may negatively impact the Occupy Central movement. Tam Yiu-Chung, Chairman of Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (NOTE: a pro-Peking and pro-HKSAR government party), thinks otherwise that Lee’s proposal is practical.