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Christians call for electoral change
Criticize the scandal-tainted 'small-circle election' of the new chief executiveLeung Chun-ying (left) and Henry Tang shaking hands at a forum
- ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong
- March 1, 2012
âThe congenital defect of the âsmall-circle electionâ makes us angry and disappointed,â leaders from various Protestant denominations, theological seminaries and Christian organizations said in a statement to be published tomorrow in two local newspapers.
The statement has been signed by more than 800 people.
Local media has described this yearâs election, to be held on March 25, as a contest between âthe pigâ and âthe wolfâ in reference to candidates Henry Tang Ying-yen and Leung Chun-ying respectively.
Tang, a wealthy businessman turned civil servant who many believe is Beijingâs preferred candidate, has been dogged by questions about his credibility over the building of an illegal luxury basement in his wife's home andÂ marital infidelity.
Leung, a surveyor and former Executive Council convener, leads Tang in public opinion polls despite recent allegations by local media of business irregularities and being a Communist Party member, both of which he has denied.
Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, the third candidate in the race, is widely thought to have little chance of winning.
Reverend Lo Lung-kwong, director of the Divinity School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the electorate deserves more from the political process.
âWe want to raise our fellow citizensâ awareness that the distorted electoral system will only create greater conflict of interest and social divisions.â
He added that changes should be adopted before the next election.
âWe should cohere a consensus for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election.â
Hong Kongâs chief executive is elected by a 1,200-member Election Commission, which critics say favors candidates with close ties to Beijing and denies the public an adequate say in choosing their leaders.
The statement further urges electors on the commission to follow their consciences in selecting the best candidate.
âThey must cut off any interest, listen to public opinion, study the candidatesâ platforms and have independent thinking,â the statement said.
Reverend Lo said whoever wins the election should be guided by what is in the best interests of the public.
âHe should abide by integrity, selflessness, tolerance and openness.â
HK voting committee to add religious electors
HK Christians pledge to fight on as reforms pass