3 Hong Kong

Screen Capture from Youtube Video: Letter to Hong Kong 2020.The Hong Kong government will table an electoral reform package to the Legislative Council on June 17, ahead of elections to the position of Chief Executive — the island's top leadership position — in 2017.

Pan-democrat lawmakers are expected vote down the proposal since it follows the framework set by the standing committee of the legislature in mainland China, the National People's Congress (NPC).

According to the rules, any change to the political system on the island demands two-thirds support from lawmakers of both the direct electoral constituencies and functional constituencies in the legislature.

As the pan-democrats have more than one-third of the seats in the direct electoral constituencies, they have enough votes to veto the proposal.

The NPC framework, announced on August 31, 2014, requires that all legitimate candidates to the chief executive post obtain majority support from what is currently the Electoral Committee (EC) and would be renamed the Nominating Committee (NC), a body dominated by pro-Beijing members. It also restricts the number of legitimate candidates for elections to between two and three.

China's play

Beijing's apparent intervention into Hong Kong's election process has been regarded by pan-democrats in Hong Kong as a violation of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle viewed as key to guaranteeing Hong Kong's autonomy.

The chief executive is currently elected by a 1, 200-strong EC with a nomination threshold of 150 votes of support, while the government's proposal demands 600 votes of support in the NC before the candidates are allowed to run for the election. With the current composition of the legislature, the proposed system ensures that only pro-Beijing candidates such as current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying can make it to the ballot.

The following video, made by an independent civic group in Hong Kong, compares the two systems and invites viewers to make their own judgement on whether the electoral reform package is progressive or regressive.

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