“Finding the Right Path to Universal Suffrage What the Government is not telling you” jointly published by the Civic Party and Hong Kong 2020

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Press Release
6 January 2014

“Finding the Right Path to Universal Suffrage
What the Government is not telling you”
jointly published by the Civic Party and Hong Kong 2020

Today (6 Jan 2014) the Civic Party and HK2020 are jointly launching publication of an alternative Consultation Document on Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive (CE) in 2017 and for Forming the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2016 entitled ‘Finding the Right Path to Universal Suffrage - What the Government is not telling you’.

Mrs Anson CHAN, Convenor of HK2020, Ms Gladys LI, Ms Elizabeth BOSHER, Prof Johannes CHAN and Mr George CAUTHERLEY, Members of HK2020, Ms Audrey EU, Chairman of the Civic Party and Mr Alan LEONG, Leader of the Civic Party explained today at the press conference why they are doing it.

When compared to the content of the ‘Green Paper on Constitutional Development’, the Government’s Consultation Document published on 4 Dec 2013 is a step backwards; among other things it fails to provide a comprehensive explanation of the legal basis for universal suffrage and omits key background information.

The Government is not sincere when it says “……is yet to have position”. It is clear – both from what the Government Document and officials say and do not say – that parameters for the implementation of universal suffrage for the CE election in 2017 have already been drawn up and are heavily influenced by the Central Authorities in Beijing.

Having stated that the Government is willing to listen to all views, Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie LAM in fact is saying one thing, doing another. Last week she dismissed the results of the Civil Referendum, conducted by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong on 1 Jan, in which over 62,000 citizens voted. Had it not been for some technical difficulties the number of voters should have been higher still.

The Civic Party and HK2020 believe, any system of universal suffrage must be able to resolve the governance crisis so that the elected CE will have popular mandate. A system designed to screen out candidate with popular support will turn the CE election into a farce.

Universal suffrage, whether for CE or LegCo, must comply with the relevant legal principles, namely it has to be ‘equal’ and ‘universal’ and must not put unreasonable restrictions on the right to vote and be elected.

If the composition of the Nominating Committee is to be based on the Election Committee as suggested by the Government Document, it will not be in compliance with Article 45 of the Basic Law which requires the Nominating Committee to be ‘broadly representative’.  At the very least, the corporate votes should be turned into individual voters and there should be several more sectors which are not currently included in the Election Committee.

Changes must be made to LegCo in 2016 to phase out FC and the split voting system.

The ‘Finding the Right Path to Universal Suffrage - What the Government is not telling you’ Consultation Document can be downloaded at http://www.2017.hk or here.

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