Elections reform: top Beijing officials to meet Hong Kong business, political leaders to seek feedback on overhaul, sources say

William Zheng
·2-min read

Top Beijing officials are expected to meet more than 1,000 Hong Kong business leaders and pro-establishment politicians next week to solicit their feedback on plans for the drastic overhaul of the city’s electoral system, sources say.

Two government sources told the Post that the meetings, to be held from Monday to Wednesday, would be presided over by Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office deputy directors Zhang Xiaoming, Song Zhe and Huang Liuquan.

One Beijing-based source said the series of meetings was intended to “hear the feedback on further details” of the proposed changes to Hong Kong’s elections system after the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed a resolution on Thursday paving the way for the overhaul by a near-unanimous vote.

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Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office officials (left to right) Song Zhe, Zhang Xiaoming and Huang Liuquan are expected preside over the meetings with local leaders. Photo: SCMP
Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office officials (left to right) Song Zhe, Zhang Xiaoming and Huang Liuquan are expected preside over the meetings with local leaders. Photo: SCMP

Under the revamped system, Hong Kong delegates to the NPC and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – the country’s top legislature and political advisory body, respectively – would become members of the Election Committee, which will select the city’s leader next year. The newcomers will occupy 300 seats in the expanded 1,500-member body.

The city’s Legislative Council will also be expanded to 90 seats from the current 70. While some seats will continue to be elected through direct polls and from so-called functional constituencies, the establishment-dominated Election Committee will now also send some of its own members to sit in the legislature. A vetting committee will be established to review and approve potential candidates for the Election Committee and Legco.

The resolution, however, did not include further details, such as the breakdown of seats in the Election Committee and Legco.

A second official source said these details would be finalised in amendments to Annexes I and II of the Basic Law – Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – to be hammered out by the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC). Those changes will in turn pave the way for Hong Kong to amend its local electoral laws.

“The NPCSC’s meeting next month will need to deliberate on the amendments to Hong Kong’s Basic Law Annex I and II. That is why we need to work quickly to solicit feedback before that,” the source said.

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