A lawyer representing the pro-establishment Liberal party has said the government needed to bear the main responsibility for the failed political reform proposal.

Alan Hoo Hon-ching, who is also chairman of the Basic Law Institute and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, criticised the government for launching the so-called “five-step process of constitutional development” without reaching a consensus with society.

Barrister Alan Hoo Hon-ching.

In a press conference, Hoo said the administration should have had a plan B to deal with the rejection of the reform plan.

The Legislative Council voted down the controversial electoral reform proposal on Thursday, meaning the city’s next chief executive will be elected under the current system by a 1,200-strong committee. The composition of the committee was criticised as outdated. But the government has no plan for overhauling the committee, Hoo said.

“What now? There’s no universal suffrage, we will use the same election committee? Sixty seats for fishing and agricultural sector again?” Hoo said.

Lawmakers voted down a package of political proposals which would have allowed Hongkongers to directly elect their chief executive, albeit from a pool of candidates vetted by a pro-Beijing nominating committee.

Pro-establishment legislators attempted to walkout of the council chamber during the vote in a last ditch attempt to make the vote inquorate.

However a communication error meant that eight legislators, including all of the five Liberal party members, stayed to vote. In the end there were still enough members in the chamber for the vote to be valid.

Twenty-eight legislators rejected the proposals and only eight supported it.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.