DDN and its affiliated academic refuse to participate in coming consultation

 

We are greatly disappointed with the NPC Standing Committee’s rash decision to rule out universal suffrage in 2007 and 2008 and to significantly limit the democratic development of the Legislature. This decision was made without giving Hong Kong people any opportunities to express their opinions on concrete proposals. In the first stage of the public consultation, HK people were only requested by the SAR government to discuss about the principles and procedures of political development and not on concrete proposals.  All along, we assumed a tacit consent with the SAR government that there will be a second round of consultation for the community to freely explore and examine various constitutional development proposals, including the option of universal suffrage.  Now that the possibility of universal suffrage is ruled out by the NPC with no regard to proper procedure, we believe that the authorities have no sincerity at all in conducting a genuine public consultation.

 

The Democratic Development Network and its affiliated academics are known to be a civil society group advocating a need for moderation, rational discussion and dialogue in matters of political development. In the last few months, we have met a great number of people in the business section and research centres and thinktanks. We have spent three months in developing a detailed political development proposal to address the concerns of different parties, especially the Central authority and the business community. Now with the rash decision of the NPC Standing Committee, our efforts have gone in vain.

 

To express our deep disappointment and disapproval, we decided that we will not participate in the forthcoming consultation process. In particular,

 

1)      we will not submit any constitutional development proposals to the government in the coming consultation;

2)      we will not attend any official meetings held for this purpose.

 

The DDN will continue to comment on political reform and organize seminars for this purpose.  In the spirit moderation and o=rational discussion, we will continue to maintain dialogue with different social groups to develop constructive suggestions to solve the present governance problem.  We will also continue our public democratic education so as to consolidate the conditions for democracy in Hong Kong.  We urge the people of Hong Kong to express their wishes for democracy through different channels, including voting in the coming Sept. LegCo election.  We also urge the authorities to demonstrate their sincerity and open mindedness in public consultation so that the dialogue between the government and civil society could be reestablished.