(Two sessions) Henry Tang: reforms on HK’s electoral systems won’t eliminate all pan-dems
The legislature will still accommodate mild opposition voices despite Beijing’s overhaul on electoral systems in Hong Kong, former Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said after a meeting with Vice-Premier Han Zheng.
Speaking after a two-hour session with members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing this morning, Tang stressed the changes underway would not bar pro-democracy figures from standing in and winning elections.
“[Han] said the aim of this reform is not to deliberately eliminate anyone. He did not say we are targeting or wanting to eliminate the pan-democrats, he only stated ‘patriots governing Hong Kong’, meaning patriots should be a standard to objectively examine one’s eligibility to rule in the system, including the administration and Legco.” Tang said.
The standing committee member of the CPPCC added Han didn’t spell out details on how to improve the electoral system, but confirmed it included an expansion of the Chief Executive election committee and the SAR’s legislature.
“Hong Kong is a diverse society, its representative politics include different voices. But we need to have the same goal, to love the country and the city. That means speaking up and working proactively and constructively for the betterment of Hong Kong,” Tang said.
“I don’t think the pan-democrats will disappear. Instead of destroying Hong Kong, many of them want the city to be a better and vibrant place.”
Tang’s meeting with Han, also head of the Communist Party’s Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, came a day after state leader Wang Chen said there was a pressing need to plug the “loopholes and deficiencies” in Hong Kong’s electoral systems that had allowed destabilizing, anti-China elements to threaten national security.
Under Beijing’s plan, the election committee that selects the SAR’s Chief Executive will be granted the power to nominate all candidates for the Legislative Council elections, as well as sending some of their own members to the legislature.