Anger In Hong Kong As China Rejects Public Nomination For Picking The City’s Top Leader

Forbes

Anger In Hong Kong As China Rejects Public Nomination For Picking The City’s Top Leader

Kandy Wong  Contributor

Click on the link to get more news and video from original source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kandywong/2014/09/01/anger-in-hong-kong-as-china-rejects-public-nomination-for-picking-the-citys-top-leader/

Waves of protests began in Hong Kong since last night as Hong Kongers were disappointed with Beijing’s undemocratic electoral proposal. In the meantime, Occupy Central is ready to go anytime in town.

Protesters and police scuffled this morning at the venue of a briefing by Li Fei, deputy secretary-general of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. Li was in Hong Kong to explain the decision by China’s legislature to introduce universal suffrage in the former British colony that stipulates candidates to be prescreened by the Central Government.

Benny Tai, the co-organizer of Occupy Central, said yesterday: “ [It is] the darkest day for Hong Kong’s development…and one country two systems ,” after hearing the final decision from Beijing’s legislature on the election of the city’s next Chief Executive.

The Standing Committee of National People’s Congress announced on Sunday Asia time that there will be no open nominations to the Chief Executive in 2017. The number of candidates will be limited to two or three people at the most. And the candidates will only be eligible to go through the one person, one vote elections after winning at least 50% support from the 1,200 members of a Nominating Committee stacked with Beijing loyalists.

Over the past 17 years, Hong Kong’s leaders were elected by a 400 to 1,200-member Election Committee that is basically composed of businessmen, labor, professionals and a few public representatives. The only difference now proposed by Beijing is that some 5 million registered Hong Kong residents can vote for candidates but only after they’ve been pre-approved by a nominating committee. Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, called the Basic Law, states that Hong Kong can carry out universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative Nominating Committee.

The proposal is regarded by many as Beijing “shutting the door” to a true and democratic electoral system . Twenty-three pan-democratic Legislative Council members are already planning to veto the framework suggested by Beijing. As Hong Kong is governed through a separate system from China in many ways after 1997, guaranteed in the Basic Law, decisions of Beijing related to Hong Kong have to be debated in the city’s law-making body before implementation. Among 70 legislative councilors, two-thirds agreement is needed to pass a bill.
5,000 participants gathered in front of the Hong Kong government headquarter on Aug 31, 2014 to show their anger toward Beijing’s undemocratic electoral proposal. Credit: Wan Hoi Wing, a participant of the rally

5,000 participants gathered in front of the Hong Kong government headquarter on Aug 31, 2014 to show their anger toward Beijing’s undemocratic electoral proposal. Credit: Wan Hoi Wing, a participant of the rally

Benny Tai said the announcement marks the end of dialogue with Beijing and a series of protests will be launched soon. Occupy Central issued a statement after Beijing announced its decision, saying that “Such a vision for the electoral system will not resolve the controversies about universal suffrage over the years, nor will it be passed by the Legislative Council. The failure of this constitutional reform has dashed people’s hopes for change and will intensify conflicts in society. ”

Occupy Central held its first rally in front of government headquarter on Sunday at 7 p.m. Hong Kong time with 5,000 participants. The pro-Beijing camp said that if the new election proposal is not passed by Hong Kong’s legislature, the city’s political development will be stalled.

Kandy Wong

Kandy Wong  Contributor

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