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Submission to the 2014 Political Reform Consultation

1. Background of Submission

1.1 In December 2013, the Hong Kong SAR Government released a consultation document seeking views on the political reforms in 2016 and 2017. We therefore submit our response to the consultation related to the selection of the Chief Executive in 2017, and on the issues of the electorate base of the Nomination Committee.

1.2 The Professional Commons is a member of the Alliance for True Democracy (ATD). We support the “Three Tracks Nomination System” for the selection of the Chief Executive in 2017 as proposed by the ATD (see ).

1.3 The Professional Commons has conducted an opinion survey among Pan Democrats’ Election Committee members, professionals, and our members early this year. We opine that professionals overwhelmingly support early full democracy of Hong Kong with a fair election system that comply with international standards and does not screen any candidate from major political camps from running Chief Executive election. Respondents also overwhelmingly support to negotiate with the representative(s) of Beijing. And majority of respondents support civic nomination, political party nomination and the democratization of Nomination Committee. Detailed report and Press Release (in Chinese) of the opinion survey is attached.

1.4 Based on the principle of gradual and orderly progress (循序漸進) and broad representation (廣泛代表), we believe that reform should be carried out at this important stage in order to expand the electoral base of the Nomination Committee.

2. The Recommendations

2.1 Overall, the Government should develop a detailed proposal to enhance the representation of the Nomination Committee as part of the democratization process. We strongly opine that screening of candidate sitting for Chief Executive election is not acceptable for Hong Kong which is a developed open society, an international financial centre and business hub.

2.2 There are several reform proposals are in-line with our views and acceptable, namely, the reform packages being proposed by Hong Kong 2020, the Hon. Ronnie Tong, the 18 scholars, and, of course, the Three Tracks Proposal of ATD. We also made the following suggestions:

2.3 Expand the electorate of the First Sector (Industrial, Commercial and Financial) to include the full time employees of all industrial, commercial and financial establishments stated in the Sector. For example, the Finance Subsector representatives in the First Sector should be elected by all the full time employees (those who contributed to the Mandatory Provident Fund, MPF) in banks licensed under the Banking Ordinance. The Hotel Subsector representatives in the First Sector should be elected by all the full time employees (those who contributed to the MPF) in hotels and guesthouses licensed under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance. Another example is that the Financial Services Subsector representatives should be elected by all the full time employees (those who contributed to the MPF) of all entities (corporations and individuals) engaged in RA1 to RA10 activities licensed under the Securities and Futures Ordinance. There should be the same expansion for other subsectors.

2.4 Expand the electorate of the Second Sector (The Professions) to include more qualified and para-professional persons in each profession.

2.5 We support the district direct election of Nomination Committee members by proportional representative model, like the LegCo election, from the 18 districts.

2.6 The Government may consider adding a Sub-sector of “housework, retired and other” in the Third Sector (Labor, Social Services, Religious and Other), and expand the size of the Nomination Committee accordingly. This can be achieved by, say self-initiated registration by those who are not included in any of the other Sectors.

2.6 We opine that one-tenth of the members of the Nomination Committee could be allowed to propose a potential candidate for Chief Executive to the Nomination Committee, and one-eighth of the members of the Nomination Committee would constitute the collective deliberation (集體意志) of the Nomination Committee for nomination purpose.

2.7 In accordance with the principle of balanced participation (均衡參與), we recommend that the number of representatives of the Agriculture and Fisheries Subsector in the Nomination Committee be reduced from 60 to 20, and the fourty seats are to be shared by subsectors who contribute more to GDP or more important for the long term development of Hong Kong like subsectors representing finance, information technology, education etc. We do not, in general, support further increase seats of subsectors and/or increase subsectors.

2.8 We also urge for the early abolition of company vote and organization vote.

2.9 Chief Executive is allowed to have affiliation with political party.

2.10 Abolition of split counting of district votes and functional votes in LegCo.

2.11 Progressively increase of district elected seats in LegCo.

3. Conclusion

In accordance with the Basic Law, the Nomination Committee of the Chief Executive should have a broad representation (廣泛代表) of members of the community. In addition, we believe that there should not be any unreasonable pre-screening at the nomination stage before the one-person, one-vote universal suffrage election process. It is because the universal suffrage election process itself is the political screening and selection mechanism.

Our recommendations meet the requirements of the Basic Law and the only remaining question is whether Beijing is willing to honour the spirit of “One Country Two System” of the Basic Law, which is to grant high level of autonomy to the people of Hong Kong in administrating our internal affairs.

The Professional Commons

3 May, 2014

Please follow the link below for document:

 Submission to the political reform consultation_Final_20140503

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