Hong Kong reforms prevent ‘majority dictatorship’, says pro-Beijing lawmaker

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s proposal for Hong Kong’s electoral reforms could prevent a “majority dictatorship,” Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing lawmaker Martin Liao told Reuters on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Pro-democracy protesters hold placards during a march to demand that lawmakers reject an electoral reform package approved by Beijing for the city’s first direct elections for the city’s chief executive, under Hong Kong flags outside the building. of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, China, June 14, 2015 REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

The Chinese parliament is discussing plans to reform Hong Kong’s electoral system to ensure Beijing loyalists are in charge. Hong Kong representatives, in Beijing for an annual session, say change is necessary and desirable.

“A lot of people in Hong Kong are politically immature,” Liao, who sits on the Hong Kong and Chinese legislatures, said in a telephone interview.

“They think ‘one man, one vote’ is best, and they follow the advice of countries that don’t even have ‘one man, one vote,'” Liao said, referring to neither the US president nor the British prime minister. they are elected by popular vote.

The proposed changes, which include expanding the City’s Election Committee from 1,200 to 1,500 people and expanding the City’s Legislative Council from 70 to 90 seats, will make Hong Kong’s electoral system more “representative” and less prone. to the “dictatorship of the majority.” Liao added.

Critics say Beijing could stack the two bodies with even more pro-system members, to gain the numerical superiority necessary to influence important decisions such as the election of the city’s chief executive, leaving Hong Kong voters with less voice. direct about who. they want to guide them.

People from new industries and services, such as information technology, telecommunications and healthcare, should be brought in as additional members of Hong Kong’s electoral collage, said Maria Tam, a senior Hong Kong politician who works with the China’s parliament on Hong Kong mini-politics matters. -Constitution.

People who can help Hong Kong’s youth take advantage of China’s economic development, such as through the national Five-Year Plan and the Greater Bay Area plan, should also be included, he told Reuters by phone.

Tam dismissed concerns that the reforms, aimed at ensuring that “the patriots rule Hong Kong” will reduce the space for opposition.

“I don’t think it’s going to be unicolor,” he said.

“Anyone who can draw the line between themselves and those who act against the interests of China and Hong Kong would have no problem running for office and winning,” he said.

Tam Yiu-chung, Hong Kong’s sole representative in China’s main legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said separately: “If you are not a patriot, it will be difficult for you to enter.”

Report by Yew Lun Tian; Edited by Ros Russell and Alexander Smith


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