Can NOTA End Hong Kong Political Impasse?

Hong Kong On Unofficial Referendum
  • An Indian jurist’s proposal derived from a Supreme Court ruling could play a key role in building consensus on Hong Kong’s political reforms
  • There are deep divisions in Hong Kong’s political class, which have surfaced prominently, during the course of student protests.
  • Student protests had, for months, rocked the territory’s Central Business District.
  • But the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post (SCMP) is reporting that the popular mood in Hong Kong maybe slowly changing.
  • Shifting from the earlier maximalist demand for the abolishment of Nominating Committee  supposedly a cabal of pro-Beijing functionaries  who are to pick candidates eligible to stand for Hong Kong’s 2017 election’s for the Chief Executive, there could now be more room for a functional compromise with the opposition.
  • Taking the cue from Supreme Court ruling on the case People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) v Union of India (2013) , Mr. Dam wrote in the Jurist magazine, that without the abrogation of the “pre-selection” provision of eligible candidates by the nominating committee, the Hong Kong electorate must be given the None of the Above (NOTA) option, when they vote for the Chief Executive’s post.
  • This would give the voters a choice of rejecting all the candidates in the fray.
  • Mr. Dam explained that he had made one major modification to the Supreme Court’s ruling.
  • In India, the Court clarified that even if NOTA gets the majority of votes in a constituency, it will have no effect.
  • The candidate with the second highest vote would be declared the winner.
  • Mr. Dam’s proposal could be making a dent in Beijing’s power elite, mainly because the idea has been picked up and further tweaked by Albert Chen Hung-yee, an influential legal expert trusted by Beijing.