|Talks begin between pan-democrats, CS
Pan-Democratic legislators have started talks with the Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, over political reform.
A prime focus of the meeting would be whether the Hong Kong government could arrange meetings between the pro-democracy camp and Beijing officials who oversee Hong Kong affairs.
The pan-democratic lawmakers said they hoped the meetings could be held before the end of August when the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is expected to give its decision on political reform in Hong Kong.
The chairwoman of the Democratic Party, Emily Lau Wai-hing, said Hong Kong people wanted genuine universal suffrage.
But Labor Party lawmaker, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, told RTHK earlier on Wednesday that she does not hold out much hope.
She said this was because Lam already knows the position of pan-democratic parties on the 2017 chief executive election.
Ho said progress could be made if Beijing was willing to accept a nominating committee which did not merely screen chief executive candidates.
Civic Party lawmaker, Ronny Tong Ka-wah, expressed hope that details of a possible meeting between the pan-democrats and the officials in Beijing could be ironed during the meeting with Ms Lam.
He said if a meeting was arranged, he hoped both the pan-democrats and the officials could be more flexible on their stances with regard to universal suffrage.
Tong said this was the only way progress can be made on political reform.
The vice-chairman of the pro-government Business and Professionals Alliance, lawmaker Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, urged pan-democratic lawmakers to engage in a rational dialogue with the Hong Kong government and officials in Beijing to forge a consensus on political reform.
He stressed the pan-democrats should no longer insist on civil nomination allowing ordinary voters to nominate candidates for chief executive elections because both local and Beijing officials have repeatedly ruled it out. --RTHK