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'Legco candidates need approval from committee'

2021-02-28 HKT 17:59
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  • Ex-NPCSC member Rita Fan suggests scrapping the five Legco "super seats" and barring district councillors from selecting the chief executive.
    Ex-NPCSC member Rita Fan suggests scrapping the five Legco "super seats" and barring district councillors from selecting the chief executive.
Timmy Sung reports
A former National People's Congress standing committee member on Sunday suggested that people who want to run for Legislative Council in future need to be nominated by the election committee and district councillors should be barred from selecting the chief executive.

Rita Fan was speaking across the border in Shenzhen as senior Beijing officials held a two-day symposium to collect views on how to change the SAR's electoral system to ensure only patriots could govern Hong Kong.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, the head of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Xia Baolong, was in Shenzhen to "solicit opinions from representatives from all walks of life in Hong Kong".

Last week, Xia said the SAR's election system must be reformed so that people who "oppose China and disrupt Hong Kong" cannot take up positions of authority – and this overhaul must be led by Beijing.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Fan backed the idea of reforming Hong Kong's electoral system, or the city's stability would be destroyed.

"Why have we seen the chaos in Hong Kong? That's because non-patriots with ill-intent and those who want to use foreign powers to destroy Hong Kong's prosperity and stability were elected. They then created trouble in Legco and district councils. That made Hong Kong an unfavourable place to live and work," she said.

Fan said that since district councils aren't considered as an organ of political power under the basic law, the councillors shouldn't be allowed to stay in the election committee that picks the Chief Executive.

Instead, she proposed, that the one hundred or so vacancies should be filled by local members to the country's top advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Hong Kong's leader is chosen by a 1,200 strong committee made up of members from business sectors, religious groups, and office holders such as Legco and NPC members, and district councillors.

Seventeen out of the 18 district councils are controlled by the pro-democracy camp after winning by a landslide in polls in 2019.

For Legco, Fan said the five "super seats" in the functional constituency – which are only open to district councillors to run – should be scrapped and the current five geographical constituencies should be broken down to at least 10.

Those who want to take part in future elections should also have nominations from the election committee to ensure that the candidates are patriots, she added.

It's widely expected that Beijing will submit plans to reform Hong Kong's electoral system in the National People's Congress meetings in the capital.