Hong Kong has lost its chance to achieve universal suffrage and there’s no reason to restart electoral reform, said the Communist Party’s official newspaper People’s Daily on Tuesday.
A commentary published in the paper’s overseas edition blasted pan-democrats for “shirking responsibility and stirring up controversy” by urging the Hong Kong government to restart the so-called “five-step process” of constitutional reform.
According to the Hong Kong government, the five steps are as follows:
- The Chief Executive will make a report to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) as to whether there is a need to amend the two electoral methods;
- The NPCSC will determine whether or not the electoral methods need to be amended;
- The resolutions on the amendments will be introduced by the HKSAR Government to the Legislative Council (LegCo), and be endorsed by a two-thirds majority of all the members of the LegCo;
- Consent will be given by the CE to the motions endorsed by the LegCo; and
- The relevant bill to be reported by the CE to the NPCSC for approval or for the record.
The SAR did not meet the requirements to restart the reform process, the paper said.
“The truth is, no law or document has provisions for when political reform can resume. After two years of discussion, debate and even riot, after paying a huge social price, the best reform proposal, which is in line with the Basic Law and Hong Kong’s reality, was vetoed by the opposition. Obviously there’s no reason to restart political reform again.”
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On Monday, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said amending the Basic Law was “politically unrealistic” although feasible “legally and theoretically.” It will be difficult to reach consensus in the society about the amendment, he said, and that Hong Kong would still need the approval from the central government to amend any provision in the Basic Law.
However, Yuen added: “I think it’s absolutely impractical, there’s no chance we could achieve that.”