Poll plan rules out opposition minority

Updated: 2015-06-01 07:24

By Shadow Li in Shenzhen and Kahon Chan in Hong Kong(China Daily)

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Clear message sent to HK lawmakers ahead of election of the next chief by a citywide vote

The proposal to elect Hong Kong's next chief executive by universal suffrage excludes certain opposition members who view the region as an "independent" entity, distort the meaning of the Basic Law or subvert the central leadership.

This was made clear by a central government official on Sunday. Wang Guangya, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, sent a clear message to the city's lawmakers at a meeting in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, attended by 14 out of 27 members of the opposition camp in the Legislative Council.

The meeting came about two weeks before Hong Kong's legislature votes on the electoral reform package. It requires a two-thirds majority to pass, but opposition members have pledged to combine to veto the proposal.

Wang said the proposal, drawn up to conform with parameters crafted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in August, seeks to exclude a minority of opposition members appearing on the ballot for the chief executive election.

Under the guise of "democracy", Wang said this group views Hong Kong as an "independent" political entity, has distorted the meaning of the Basic Law deliberately, and obstructed the Hong Kong government.

It has also resisted the central leadership and even colluded with foreign forces to support separatist causes like "Hong Kong independence", and attempted to subvert the Communist Party leadership and socialist system established in the country's Constitution, Wang said.

He said that individuals from this faction will be blocked from the chief executive election, and will not be appointed even if they manage to win the poll.

Having an "antagonistic" leader in Hong Kong would be a disaster for the city, for the country and for the "one country, two systems" policy framework, Wang said at a news conference after the meeting.

But he also said the opposition camp minority, despite differences in political views with the central government, does recognize the "one country, two systems" principle, the Constitution and the Basic Law, as well as the country's political structure. He hopes to have a deeper exchange with the camp.

Li Fei, deputy secretary-general of the Standing Committee and chairman of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee, told lawmakers at the meeting that voting for or against the reform package will serve as a "touchstone" to test their support for the Basic Law and the "one country, two systems" policy.

Li said the decision made in August on Hong Kong's first universal suffrage election will remain in effect beyond 2017.

The NPC Standing Committee decision on Hong Kong's first universal suffrage election, Li said in his speech, will remain in effect beyond 2017. It was not possible to change the prudent and law-binding framework before it is put into practice.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the reform vote will not be postponed. The motion will probably be read in the Legislative Council on June 17.

Contact the writers at stushadow@chinadailyhk.com and kahon@chinadailyhk.com

Poll plan rules out opposition minority

(China Daily 06/01/2015 page3)