For Immediate Release
The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce supports the constitutional reform proposal announced by the Government today, and is pleased to see that our recommendations on lowering the threshold for nomination for the Chief Executive election and setting a cap on the number of nominations have been adopted. Chamber Chairman Y K Pang urges legislators from the various political parties to respect public opinion and pass the constitutional reform package. This will allow 5 million eligible voters to exercise their right to choose the next Chief Executive in 2017.
The Chamber believes that implementation of constitutional reforms, which include the introduction of universal suffrage in the election of the next Chief Executive are important to the preservation of Hong Kong’s ongoing prosperity. It goes without saying that political stability represents a crucial factor to investors when opting to conduct their business in Hong Kong. Under the reform package, the composition of the Nominating Committee will remain unchanged. Candidates will have to garner at least 120 but no more than 240 nominations before they can be considered eligible to run for election. This arrangement will allow candidates from different ideological backgrounds to muster sufficient nominations should they be able to do so. Candidates with endorsements from more than half of Nominating Committee members will be immediately considered as being in the running for election as Chief Executive through the "one person, one vote" process.
Chamber Chairman Y. K. Pang said, “The majority of surveys conducted recently by various academia, interest groups and business associations have provided a clear indication that more than half of the public is supportive of the proposed constitutional reforms. Achieving universal suffrage in the 2017 Chief Executive election is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we need to seize upon now. The ability to fulfill the general public’s aspiration to elect their own CE is now in the hands of Legco members. I truly hope Legco members can take into account public opinion and help set a milestone in Hong Kong’s history by supporting the passage of the proposal on electing the next CE.”
In the absence of a universally accepted election system, jurisdictions have to rely on their respective political and unique characteristics in formulating an appropriate arrangement for choosing their leaders. Pang said, “There are some who regard the current proposal as being imperfect. However, as pointed out by the Chief Secretary for Administration Mrs Carrie Lam, the proposed approach to electing the CE in 2017 does not represent the ultimate solution. I believe there is still room for improvement going forward. If we lose this opportunity, we will have to start all over again. How many years will Hong Kong people have to wait before they can finally have a say in their choice of CE through popular vote?”
To implement universal suffrage for the 2017 CE election, we must follow a set of pre-determined procedures. The resolutions on the amendments of the electoral methods proposed by the Hong Kong Government are required to be endorsed by the Legco. As soon as the CE agrees to the resolutions endorsed by the Legco, the bill will then have to be submitted to the NPCSC for its approval. The Chamber does not wish to see endless and unproductive arguments on the issue of constitutional reform. It is time to move forward and devote our energies to securing Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.
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