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Legislators should work together for HK's progress

Updated: 2015-05-26 07:45
(China Daily)

Legislators should work together for HK's progress

Hong Kong opposition Civil Human Rights Front organized a march themed "We want real universal suffrage rather than pseudo democracy" on February 1, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

All 70 legislators in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have been invited to exchange views on the proposed constitutional reform package on May 31 with Wang Guangya, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Li Fei, chairman of the Basic Law Committee of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, and Zhang Xiaoming, director of the Central People's Government's Liaison Office in the HKSAR.

There are only a few weeks to go before the reform package is put to a decisive vote in the Legislative Council. So far, the gap remains wide, as all 27 opposition lawmakers refuse to change their rigid stance and are pledging to veto the proposals.

Nevertheless, the central authority is still trying to persuade them to change mind, and this last-ditch effort shows the central government is sincere about introducing universal suffrage.

A two-thirds majority is needed in the Legislative Council for the SAR government's blueprint to pass, which means at least four opposition lawmakers will have to vote in favor of the bill.

Most Hong Kong residents hope that all the opposition lawmakers will seize the golden opportunity presented and put forward constructive suggestions, rather than spoiling the potentially candid atmosphere of the meeting by staging political stunts. Last year, radical lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung made unnecessary political farces when talks were held in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

As of now, many are pessimistic, believing that the upcoming meeting is unlikely to yield any meaningful and positive outcomes. However, there are some who are cautiously optimistic, believing there will be genuine communication at the meeting that results in a breakthrough.

Hong Kong is part of China, and its universal suffrage, which is closely related to the nation's sovereignty and security, is therefore not a matter concerning the SAR alone. As such, the reform package unveiled by the SAR government last month is the best possible answer to the city's democratic cause, at least at this stage of time.

With universal suffrage hanging by a thread, the opposition should think twice at this critical moment. If the package is voted down, it means there will be more political infighting within the opposition camp, leading to greater divides and an escalation of radicalism. This will only lead to its electoral support base shrinking as time goes by. Democratic development in Hong Kong would then face even more obstacles.

It is time for Hong Kong's lawmakers to shoulder their historical responsibility, put Hong Kong's well-being ahead of their own, and heed the public's wishes by accepting the government's package

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