Oct 9, 2007

IT Voice Response to Green Paper on Constitutional Development

IT Voice and Charles Mok jointly submited our opinion to the Government. Here is the position paper.

On Constitutional Development – IT Voice response to the Green Paper
We are a group of IT professionals. We participated in the Election Committee election in December 2006 and were all elected with high votes. Constitutional development is one of the most important agenda for the future of Hong Kong and we like to contribute to this consultation.
1. Hong Kong people have been longing for democracy for a long time. We are ready for universal suffrage AT THIS VERY MOMENT, well before 2012. But we warn that the general public have no more patience for any drag on. Universal Suffrage is the right of Hong Kong people clearly written in the Basic Law and a political right in the ICCPR.

2. Most surveys have indicated the public has inclination towards universal suffrage as early as possible. The Government should reflect this fact in her conclusion of the Green Paper consultation. This is the last chance for the Government to correct her mistake in the consultation for she failed to provide 3 options in consultation. Had there been 3 options that included 2012 dual universal suffrage, the public's preference could have been reflected easily and clearly.

3. Hong Kong should develop herself into a world-class city. Her constitutional arrangement should be designed in conformity with international best practice, including the provisions in the International Convention of Civic and Political Rights (ICCPR). The United Nations Human Rights Committee had pointed out Hong Kong failed to commit to this convention and she had also rebutted the HKSAR Government's reservation to the convention in introducing universal suffrage to Hong Kong.

4. The Chief Executive of the HKSAR should be elected by universal suffrage in 2012. It should have happened in 2007 if not stopped by the NPCSC's interpretation of the Basic Law.

5. The current arrangement of the Basic Law is that there is a nomination before putting CE candidates to the election by the voters at large. We strongly state that the nomination process must be conducted in a democratic procedure in accordance with the principles of universal suffrage. The principle of universal suffrage is to let all voters in Hong Kong to decide the candidates for the CE election, not any nomination committee.
  • The nomination committee should be formed by directly elected representatives to achieve broad representation.
  • The threshold of the Election Committee member votes to get nominated to the CE election should be LESS stringent than the current arrangement.
  • The existence of a pre-election, pre-selection or screening, whatever it is called, is not compatible with the principle of universal suffrage and should not be introduced.
6. The whole Legislative Council (Legco) should be elected by universal suffrage in 2012. The Functional Constituencies should be removed in one batch. The nomination of Legco election candidate should not introduce any new arrangement to increase the hurdle or pre-select or screen out candidates.
7. Now the IT sector has a functional constituency seat in the Legco. We were also elected from the ITFC in the Election Committee. However, Functional Constituencies is an unfair arrangement. We do not like to be tossed as protecting our vested interest. We all favour the removal of the functional constituencies. Our position was written in our platform in the Election Committee IT subsector election and was also endorsed by our voters in IT by their votes in favour of us in December 2006.

8. The current setting in the Legco is that there exists vested interests among most FC members to retain their seats. They are enjoying the political free lunch. It is a paradox to get two-thirds of Legco to agree to universal suffrage now and later. The current consultation by the Green Paper lacks a clear focus to consolidate a dominant opinion to force these vested interest to compromise. In order to obtain a clear opinion on the constitutional reform after the Green Paper consultation, we urge the Government to conduct a second round consultation with 2 or 3 options. We think that we have sufficient time to arrive at an option with more consensus in the second round consultation.

CHUNG, Edmon
FONG, Francis
LEUNG Siu Cheong
MOK, Charles
SOONG, Chester
YIP, Lento

No comments: