Only a few weeks ago, Professor Albert Chen Hung-yee lifted spirits in the pro-democracy camp by expressing the view that civil nomination of candidates for the post of Chief Executive could be consistent with the role of the future CE Nominating Committee.
As a member of the Basic Law Committee, Professor Chen’s views carry weight in the community. I am therefore shocked by his recent suggestion that Beijing be allowed to appoint as chief executive the candidate with the second highest number of votes, if the winner of the election is not to their liking. Not only is there no provision in the Basic Law that would entitle the Central Government to take such action, it would fly in the face of internationally recognised democratic principles, and be bound to trigger serious social unrest.
Should the Central Government decide in future not to appoint the CE candidate who wins the most votes, the only proper course is for the reasons to be explained clearly to Hong Kong people and a new election held.