Hong Kong lawmakers reject Beijing poll plan

Pro-democracy protesters

Legislators in Hong Kong have rejected a controversial Beijing-backed election reform package that sparked mass protests last year.

The reforms would have given Hong Kong voters the right to choose their leader for the first time in 2017. 

But candidates would be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee and pro-democracy activists said the reforms only offered “fake democracy”.

Beijing said it would not change its position on democratic reforms.

Some in Hong Kong had hoped that if the proposals were rejected, China would be forced to offer more far-reaching reforms.

Voting confusion

The Chinese government issued a ruling on 31 August last year, saying that Hong Kong’s leader could be chosen by direct elections by 2017.

However, the ruling also said that only those nominated by a pro-Beijing committee could stand for election.

Beijing’s decision sparked protests that drew crowds of more than 100,000 people to the streets.

HKLFH

The Beijing-backed electoral reforms had to be approved by Hong Kong’s legislature before they could be enacted – but pro-democracy lawmakers, who have enough seats to veto the move, voted down the reform package.

Without approval from Hong Kong lawmakers, the territory’s next chief executive will be selected, as before, by a 1,200-member committee currently stacked with Beijing loyalists.

Moments before the vote took place, pro-Beijing lawmakers, who were expected to support the package, walked out of the council chamber.

This led to confusion ahead of the vote, with some lawmakers unsure as to why others had walked out.

The 37 remaining lawmakers voted and the motion was rejected with 28 opposing it and eight supporting it. It needed at least 47 votes to pass.

Pro-Beijing lawmakers later blamed miscommunication for the walk-out, after their request for a 15-minute suspension was rejected by the Speaker.

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How it all unravelled for pro-Beijing side: Juliana Liu, BBC News, Hong Kong

The outcome was expected, but the circumstances surprisingly dramatic.

When government officials gave their final speeches, it was hours ahead of schedule. Journalists scrambled to retake their seats in the main chamber at the Legislative Council.

Then a bell rang, reminding lawmakers to gather to vote. The cavernous room echoed with tension. A voiced called out, asking to halt the proceedings with just minutes to spare. The head of the council declined. Pro-government legislators walked out in protest.

One of them, Regina Ip of the New People’s Party, looked stunned after failing to vote. She said the collective action was unplanned. They had suddenly decided to wait for Lau Wong-fat, an elderly lawmaker who was said to be ill.

As a result, the controversial government reform plan failed by a wide margin.

Tardy lawmaker draws online quips

Maggoty apples and Hamlet: How Hong Kong’s passionate debate unfolded

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The vote means the leader of Hong Kong will still be chosen by a 1,200-member committee
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The reform gave Hong Kong citizens the right to vote for their chief executive for the first time in 2017
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Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung said legislators had voted against the wishes of the majority

A statement from China’s legislature released to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, said: “Although the universal suffrage motion was not passed, the direction towards universal suffrage and the legal principles laid down must continue to be upheld in future efforts.”

It said the 31 August decision will “continue to serve as the constitutional ground for Hong Kong in the future” and “its legal force is unquestionable”.

Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung said legislators had voted against the wishes of the majority of Hong Kong’s people and he was “naturally disappointed”.

The bill’s defeat comes after what has been a tense year of political debate in the former British colony that was handed over to Beijing in 1997.

In September last year, activists occupied major parts of the city and demanding universal suffrage. Protests paralysed the city centre after clashes between police and activists saw tear gas deployed.

After more than two months and with no concessions from CY Leung, the protest camps were ultimately dismantled by police.

BBC – chinese_simplified newsletter

香港政改方案于周四(6月18日)表决。在距离表决剩余一分钟时,大部分建制派议员突然集体离开会议厅。但由于场内仍有足够法定投票人数,政改方案仍如常举行投票,并最终以28票反对,8票赞成遭到否决。而离场的议员则在投票时缺席。

以下是BBC中文网为大家整理的香港立法会所有70名议员在香港政改方案投票时的表现:

赞成票:

方刚(自由党)

田北俊(自由党)

易志明(自由党)

张宇人(自由党)

钟国斌(自由党)

陈婉娴(工联会)

陈健波(保险界)

林大辉(工业界)

反对票:

何俊仁(民主党)

胡志伟(民主党)

涂谨申(民主党)

单仲偕(民主党)

黄碧云(民主党)

刘慧卿(民主党)

毛孟静(公民党)

梁家杰(公民党)

郭家麒(公民党)

郭荣铿(公民党)

陈家洛(公民党)

汤家骅(公民党)

何秀兰(工党)

李卓人(工党)

张国柱(工党)

张超雄(工党)

陈志全(人民力量)

陈伟业(人民力量)

梁继昌(公共专业联盟)

莫乃光(公共专业联盟)

冯检基(民协)

梁国雄(社民联线)

梁耀忠(街工)

范国威(新民主同盟)

李国麟(卫生服务界)

黄毓民(无党派)

梁家骝(医学界)

叶建源(教协)

主席不投票:曾钰成(民建联)

缺席议员:

陈鉴林(民建联)

谭耀宗(民建联)

李慧琼(民建联)

陈克勤(民建联)

叶国谦(民建联)

何俊贤(民建联)

陈恒镔(民建联)

梁志祥(民建联)

葛佩帆(民建联)

蒋丽芸(民建联)

钟树根(民建联)

黄定光(民建联)

石礼谦(经民联)

林健锋(经民联)

梁君彦(经民联)

梁美芬(经民联)

张华峰(经民联)

卢伟国(经民联)

刘皇发(经民联)

王国兴(工联会)

黄国健(工联会)

麦美娟(工联会)

郭伟强(工联会)

邓家彪(工联会)

叶刘淑仪(新民党)

田北辰(新民党)

潘兆平(劳联)

马逢国(新论坛)

姚思荣(旅游界)

吴亮星(金融界)

谢伟俊(无党派)

廖长江(商界)

谢伟铨(建筑、测量及都市规划界)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-33179247

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