Occupy Central will have strong case in judicial review against company-bid rejection, experts say

Jeffie Lam | 13 May 2014 | SCMP

“The Companies Registry’s decision is inappropriate,” barrister Stephen Char Shik-ngor said. “Occupy Central would see a very high chance of winning the case if they were to file a judicial review against the decision.”

Hong Kong practises common law, which presumes people charged with a criminal offence are innocent until proven guilty, Char said.

“This is Hong Kong’s core value and the foundation of our rule of law,” he said. “Occupy Central has not yet committed anything illegal … how could the Companies Registry make such an assumption and declare it an illegal organisation even before it breaches the law?”

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Democracy alliance chief urges unity to beat chief executive candidate screening

Tanna Chong | 11 May 2014 | SCMP

“Our core struggle is to fight off political screening in the 2017 chief executive election. Only unity can mobilise Hongkongers’ support, enabling us to exert pressure on Beijing and the government,”

Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, the alliance’s convenor, said only unity could give the camp sufficient strength to bargain with Beijing.

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Can alliance survive after Occupy vote?

Gary Cheung, Tanna Chong and Tony Cheung | 8 May 2014 | SCMP

On the face of it, radical pan-democrats were the winners of Occupy Central’s final “deliberation day”. Their supporters ensured that all three proposals to be put to a public vote next month would see voters have the power to nominate candidates for chief executive in 2017.

Yet the result of Tuesday’s shortlisting, by 2,500 activists, is likely to deepen the rift between radicals and moderates, who wanted the public to be able to pick a proposal that left nomination to a nominating committee, as stipulated by the Basic Law.

Radicals now face the question of whether enough people will vote to make the citywide “referendum” from June 20 to 22 a worthwhile exercise.

Meanwhile, one key question for the camp as a whole is whether the Alliance for True Democracy, which brings together 26 of the 27 pan-democratic lawmakers, can hold together.

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Occupy Central accused of ‘disenfranchising’ moderates in vote

Tony Cheung, Tanna Chong | 7 May 2014 | SCMP

Occupy Central’s choice of three reform proposals for a public vote next month risks “disenfranchising” Hongkongers who do not want “confrontation” with Beijing, a group advocating a more moderate plan says.

Occupy supporters met on Tuesday to shortlist three plans for its “civil referendum” on reform for the 2017 chief executive election. But all the plans chosen by the 2,500 people who attended the “deliberation day” allow the public to nominate candidates, which Beijing has ruled out.

The decision sparked concern from five moderate pan-democratic lawmakers and from Hong Kong 2020, the advocacy group set up by former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang.

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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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