06/23/2007, 00.00
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Chief executive in favour of executive-led political system

Chief executive Tsang is criticized for being too close to Beijing’s position on universal suffrage reform. Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to be in Hong Kong for the 10th anniversary of the territory’s handover to China. He might be present on July 1 when a pro-democracy rally is planned.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has been accused by a member of the government body studying constitutional reform of backing away from his election promise on universal suffrage.
CF Tsang will lead three ministers and a top aide on a three-day visit to Beijing on Tuesday before the start of his new term on July 1.
President Hu Jintao will be in Hong Kong on June 29 for the 10th anniversary of the handover of the former British Crown colony.
Expectation is growing with regard to the July 1 rally by supporters of universal suffrage, something Beijing had pledged to implement by 2008 but now seems certain to postpone.
At a meeting yesterday, Mr Tsang twice “stressed the importance of executive-led governance and said democratic reform should not make a big impact on the principle of executive-led governance," said Democratic Party legislator and Commission on Strategic Development member Lee Wing.
Mr Lee fears that Tsang will align himself with National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo who stressed this month that Hong Kong has only as much autonomy as Beijing grants, and that it should not just copy a Western model of the separation of powers between the branches of government.
In the next few days a green paper should be published containing three models for moving towards universal suffrage in electing Hong Kong’s legislative council and chief executive as required by the 1997 Basic Law. Residents will then have 90 days to vet the proposals.
Mr Tsang appears to favour a proposal put forward by Basic Law Institute chairman Alan Hoo, under which the future nominating committee would choose two chief executive candidates from those who had received at least 50 nominations from committee members.
Article 45 of the Basic Law says that the ultimate goal is to elect the chief executive by universal suffrage after nominations by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with “democratic procedures.” And if it is agreed that the 800-member Election Committee was broadly representative, then universal suffrage for the chief executive can also be achieved in 2012.
 
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