I wasn’t going to talk about Occupy Central because I really have a deep hatred of politics…however this is a major event in Hong Kong and since this blog is about life here I guess I do need to talk about it.
But I’ll try to stay as neutral as possible.
The basic Law
Hong Kong is ruled by the Basic Law which was drafted in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the Chinese and British governments concerning Hong Kong’s future.
However, as with all legal documents, the basic law uses (obviously) legal and vague vocabulary. This means the document can be interpreted in different ways.
Current election method
Currently the Chie Executive is elected by a 1200 strong election committee.
Many Hong Kong people dislike the current Chief Executive and call him the “mainland dog” because they believe he only wants to please the Chinese government and does not have Hong Kong’s best interest at heart.
The proposal for 2017 elections
The basic law states that the Hong Kong Chief executive shall be selected in light of the actual situation in HK and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress.
In the past China said it did not rule out universal suffrage in 2017.
The proposal for 2017 election is:
• The electing committee shall nominate two to three candidates for the office of Chief Executive. Each candidate must have the endorsement of more than half of all the members of the nominating committee.
• All eligible electors of Hong Kong Special have the right to vote in the election of the Chief Executive and elect one of the two or three candidates.
• The Chief Executive-elect, after being selected through universal suffrage, will have to be appointed by the Central People’s Government.
Why are people protesting?
Protesters state that since candidates will be screened by a vastly pro-Beijing committee, they don’t have genuine choice in the election. The 2 or 3 candidates will be “slaves to mainland China”, and the election is a fake “universal suffrage”.
The call for the resignation of the current Chief Executive and a new proposal for 2017 elections.
The number of people gathering on the streets is really impressive…
Wednesday 01 October is (mainland) China’s national day and is also a bank holiday in HK, many believe this will be the culmination of the protest.
Protesters say they will not back down until the government listens to them, but the government and China have stated they will not back down…
The only thing I shall say is:
HK protesters are very organised: they have umbrellas, masks and goggles to protect themselves against tear gas. They also recycle their litter and have a little supply chain of water and food.