Scholars call for bigger nominating committee that would represent more voters

Jeffie Lam, Tony Cheung, Amy Nip | 30 April 2014 | SCMP

A nominating committee of up to 2,400 voters could pick candidates for chief executive in 2017, under a complex reform proposal from a group of economists and academics.

The group proposes giving all 3.5 million registered voters a say in choosing 1,200 members of the committee, while the other half would be made up of the Election Committee that picked previous chief executives. Anyone wanting to join would need the support of 2,500 members of the public, and a certain number of the some 200,000 voters who choose Election Committee members.

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Pan-dems not giving up on public nomination

Tanna Chong, Tony Cheung | 30 April 2014 | SCMP

The Bar Association’s rejection of public nomination for the 2017 chief executive election has failed to sway pan-democrats – including a former association chairwoman – on the issue of whether voters and parties should have the right to put up candidates.

And the current head of the Bar said any requirement that a candidate should have 50 per cent of the committee’s support could “run the risk of being unconstitutional”.

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Civic Party insists on group session with liaison office director on political reform

Tanna Chong | 30 April 2014 | SCMP

The Civic Party will insist on meeting Beijing’s liaison office chief as a group to discuss electoral reform, despite differences with one of its six lawmakers over public nomination.

The decision was made at a party meeting yesterday after Dennis Kwok confirmed he had been the second Civic Party lawmaker after Dr Kwok Ka-ki to receive an individual invitation from the central government’s liaison office for talks.

It came after Ronny Tong Ka-wah – who has put forward his own proposal for the 2017 chief executive election that omits the public’s right to nominate candidates – dropped an earlier demand to meet office director Zhang Xiaoming alone or with pan-democrats who support his plan.

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(Cantonese) Panel Discussion on Hong Kong Basic Law and Civil Nomination

9 April 2014 | Center for Comparative and Public Law, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong

In light of the current heated discussions on civil nominations and requirements of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the CCPL is organising a Panel Discussion to serve as an impartial and organised platform for leading figures who have expressed views on this topic to explain their views. We aim to fully manifest the spirit of rational discourse, which the CCPL is committed to enhancing at this crucial stage of Hong Kong’s constitutional development.

Watch video on SocREC Archive

Event details, including another seminar (Cantonese) of the same series

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown: The future of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong is under serious threat

James Pomfret | 7 April 2014 | Reuters

“The future of freedom and democracy in Hong Kong is under serious threat,” U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, head of the U.S. Congressional Commission that advocates improved human rights and the rule of law in China, said in a statement.

 

“China is already placing “pre-conditions” on who can run (in 2017), raising serious doubts about whether the elections will be free and fair,” he added, during the session.

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China warns U.S. not to meddle in Hong Kong over democratic reform

James Pomfret | 7 April 2014 | Reuters

China has cautioned the United States not to interfere in Hong Kong affairs after Vice President Joseph Biden met two prominent pro-democracy advocates who have warned of Beijing’s tightening control of the territory, state news agency Xinhua said.

A former British colony that reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, Hong Kong enjoys considerable autonomy and broad freedoms as a capitalist hub.

But it has been locked in a lengthy battle with Beijing’s leaders to push through reforms that could culminate in a direct election of its leader in 2017.

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Joe Biden underscored long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong

4 April 2014 | The White House – Office of the Vice President

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Advocates

Vice President Biden dropped by a meeting today at the White House with two of Hong Kong’s leading pro-democracy advocates, former Legislative Council member Martin Lee and former Chief Secretary Anson Chan. The Vice President underscored our long-standing support for democracy in Hong Kong and for the city’s high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework.

Link

Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Prospects for Democracy and Press Freedom in Hong Kong

3 April 2014 | Congressional-Executive Commission on China

Under China’s “one country, two systems” policy, Hong Kong residents enjoy greater freedom and autonomy than people in mainland China, including freedoms of speech, press, and religion. China has stated it intends to allow Hong Kong residents to elect their Chief Executive by universal suffrage for the first time in 2017 and to elect Hong Kong’s Legislative Council by universal suffrage in 2020. As Hong Kong’s government contemplates electoral reform in the run-up to the 2017 election, concerns are growing that China’s central government will attempt to control the election by allowing only pro-Beijing candidates to run for Chief Executive. Concerns over press freedom have also grown in the wake of several incidents in which journalists have been violently attacked or fired.

The roundtable featured two prominent advocates for Hong Kong democracy, Martin Lee and Anson Chan, who examined the prospects for Hong Kong’s democratic development.

Link