Fan pushes for electoral reform

Top News | Michael Shum 1 Mar 2021

District councillors' seats in the committee to elect the chief executive should be replaced with Hong Kong delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, former Legislative Council president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai proposed to Beijing officials.

Fan, at a consultation session in Shenzhen yesterday, said the five "super seats" in Legco should also be dropped and the geographical constituencies doubled to 10, with the two candidates with the most votes in each constituency to be elected.

After the forum, Fan said she proposed that all lawmakers and members of the election committee that chooses the chief executive should be patriots, in line with the legislative intent of the Basic Law.

That would mean removing 117 district councillors from the Election Committee and replacing them with delegates to the country's top advisory body, as well as scrapping five district council super seats in the legislature, Fan said.

"As the district council is not a political body within Hong Kong's political system, according to the legislative intent of Basic Law, I think district councillors should not be Election Committee members or be offered a seat in Legco through super seats."

This came after the pro-democracy camp almost made a sweep of the district councils in the last elections in November 2019.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor suspended the Legco elections from September 2020 to September this year, citing the pandemic.

Alongside the five super seats, Fan also suggested scrapping the proportional representation system and splitting up the five geographical constituencies of Legco and doubling them to 10, with the two candidates who earn the most votes in each district elected.

Candidates will also need to obtain nominations from the Election Committee members.

The two-day forum by the central government began yesterday to gauge views over electoral changes and the implementation of the principle "patriots ruling Hong Kong" to ensure important public positions are held by patriots.

The forum was attended by the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, and deputy director Zhang Xiaoming.

Others were liaison office chief Luo Huining and Zheng Yanxiong, head of Beijing's Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong.

Sources said other attendees included Albert Chen Hung-yee, a legal scholar and member of the Basic Law Committee, and Shiu Sin-por, former head of Hong Kong's Central Policy Unit.

Chen said those at the meeting think it should be Beijing which should take the lead in the electoral reform in Hong Kong.

The forum was held days before the Two Sessions - the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress meetings - starting on Thursday and Friday.

michael.shum@singtaonewscorp.com



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