There is a very slim chance that the government’s reform package for electing the city’s leader in 2017 will be passed, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor admitted today, a week ahead of the legislature’s scrutiny of the blueprint.
Lam’s comments came as she continued to meet with pan-democratic lawmakers whom have all vowed to hold their firm stance on voting down the plan, which they said had failed to offer voters a genuine choice of candidates.
“Unfortunately such meetings until today have failed to reverse the voting preference of any pan-democratic legislators to back the reform plan,” said Lam, who is acting chief executive today as Leung Chun-ying is on a visit to Canada and the United States.
“I’m afraid there is a very slim chance for the reform plan to be approved this time.”
The plan, which stipulates only two or three aspirants who secure majority support of the 1,200-strong committee can run for the top job, would be tabled to the Legislative Council next Wednesday.
The government would continue to strive “until the last minute” despite the lukewarm response, said Lam as she urged the pro-democracy lawmakers to vote in accordance with the city’s long term interests.
Pan-democratic lawmaker Dr Joseph Lee Kok-long, representing the health sector, said he would not change his stance after meeting with Lam during which he said “both sides had failed to raise new ideas”.
They spent only 10 minutes discussing reform in the 45-minute meeting, Lee said, while the rest of time was focusing on how the city should move on in the post-reform era.
Lee also said lawmakers should strengthen communication with both local and central government officials in future.
Lam will meet education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen and “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, this afternoon.