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Just a few more votes

The SAR Government has published the Consultation Report and Proposals on the Method for Selecting the Chief Executive (CE) by Universal Suffrage. We are one step closer to the historic goal of selecting the CE by universal suffrage.

Recently, some people have said that they would vote down the proposals and wait for the next time. But when will the next time be? And when the next time comes, how likely is it that the proposals for universal suffrage will be passed?

I am afraid that no one can answer these two questions with any certainty. It is not easy to launch political reform. If the current proposals are rejected, the next time will not come about until some years later. And what will the odds be next time?  According to the Basic Law, the method for selecting the CE can only be amended with the endorsement of two-thirds of the members of the Legislative Council (LegCo), the consent of the CE and the approval of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC). This time, we already have the decision made by the NPCSC on August 31, and I have indicated my consent time and again in public.  What we need now is the endorsement of a two-thirds majority of all the members of LegCo. Should the current proposals be voted down, even if the pan-democrats are willing to endorse a new package next time, it is uncertain whether such a new package will get the approval of the NPCSC and the consent of the incumbent CE.  Moreover, it is also uncertain as to whether any 24 of the 70 LegCo members might vote down the new package next time, just like what the pan-democrats have vowed to do this time.

The proposals for implementing universal suffrage in 2017 are now on the table. We just need a few more pan-democrats to endorse them, so that five million people in Hong Kong can select the CE by universal suffrage two years later.

April 22, 2015