Monday, September 22, 2014   




Debate rages at prospect of `one man, two votes'

Scarlett Chiang

Monday, December 21, 2009

Views on the future of the controversial functional constituencies remains as divided as ever.

Debate raged at the City Forum yesterday, with the pro-democracy camp reiterating its call for their abolition saying they violated the principles of universal suffrage.

But the pro-Beijing camp said the Legislative Council seats could be modified to be "universal and fair."

The Liberal Party's Michael Tien Puk-sun said the functional constituency must be "universal and fair" in the long term as every Hong Kong person could have two votes: one for the geographical constituency and the other for the functional constituency.

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"The central government said the earliest for universal suffrage is 2017 and 2020 but it did not say [the timing] is a must," Tien said. "If we linger any longer, we would not have any progress even in 2030."

But Dennis Kwok Wing-hang of the chief executive election committee's legal sub- sector said there was no way for functional constituencies to meet the standard of "universal and fair" under the Basic Law's definition of universal suffrage.

"Even `one man, two votes' does not mean that every vote of the functional constituency is of equal weight," Kwok said.

City University political scientist James Sung Lap-kung also said a new functional constituency elected among district councillors, as suggested by the government, could be a way to replace the existing one that had a small electoral base.

But Lew Mon-hung, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the Basic Law did not specify "one man, one vote" and Hong Kong should respect the central government's decision.

"Hong Kong is part of China," he said. "Some people are mistaken if they think Hong Kong could have its own political system."


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