Hong Kong legislators refuse to budge as electoral reform debate kicks off

Legco complex locked down as hundreds of protesters from opposing camps hold rallies outside

South China Morning Post
Date: 18 June
By: Staff Reporters

Pan-democrat lawmakers stuck to their guns in a momentous Legislative Council debate on the government’s

The debate for the election reform proposals at the Legco Chamber in Tamar. Photo: K. Y. Cheng
The debate for the election reform proposals at the Legco Chamber in Tamar. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

controversial blueprint for the 2017 chief executive election yesterday, making it all but certain they would block the package in a vote that could be held as early as today.

Alan LeongThe debate began at 1.20pm yesterday as hundreds of supporters and opponents of the package held competing rallies outside the Legco complex, which was locked down.

Two hundred police officers were deployed inside the building in case protesters tried to storm the complex, triggering complaints from the pan-democrats that the legislature’s independence had been undermined by the unprecedented security measures.

Twenty-five lawmakers made their cases in the chamber on the merits or pitfalls of accepting the blueprint under the framework set by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee that would impose key restrictions while allowing Hongkongers to elect their own leader by “one man, one vote” for the first time in history.

All 16 pan-democrats who spoke yesterday stood firm on their pledge to vote down the package, which they dismissed as “fake universal suffrage”, while their pro-establishment colleagues chastised them for depriving five million eligible voters of a “historic opportunity”.     [FULL  STORY]

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