Hong Kong Lawmakers Vote Down No-Confidence Motion on Leung
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying survived a no-confidence motion in the city’s legislature yesterday, with opposition lawmakers failing to capitalize on his falling popularity.
The motion moved by the Civic Party’s Kwok Kai Ki was declared unsuccessful, according to a posting on the website of the city’s Legislative Council.
Leung has faced constant demands from opposition lawmakers to step down since taking office in July 2012, as they criticized him for having illegal additions to his property and failing to provide a road map for democracy. China’s leadership has backed Leung, the last chief executive to be picked by a select committee before universal suffrage promised in 2017.
Popular discontent in Hong Kong has soared as the city grapples with a record wealth gap and a doubling in housing prices since 2009. Leung has raised minimum wages, imposed property curbs, and increased spending on the elderly to win support.
A University of Hong Kong poll showed Leung’s support rating at 48.1 last month, a drop of 1.3 percentage points from a survey in September. The poll of 1,009 people conducted Oct. 3-8 had a margin of error of 0.8%.
The no-confidence motion was voted down 17-9 among Hong Kong’s functional constituencies, negating a 15-17 vote by geographical constituencies, according to Legislative Council’s website. Lawmakers in geographical constituencies are elected by popular vote, while those in the functional areas are representatives of businesses, industries and professions.
The government aims to start political consultations by the end of this year after forming a reforms task force to be headed by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Leung told lawmakers during a question and answer session in the legislature today.
Leung is facing rising calls to start public consultations and implement electoral reforms. China has pledged to introduce universal suffrage to Hong Kong by 2017. Leung and his two predecessors were chosen by a committee.
The city’s government has yet to reveal procedural details of the 2017 election. Allowing for a full exercise in democracy in Hong Kong will contrast with the political system in China, which has been ruled by the Communist Party since 1949.
Leung is scheduled to deliver his 2014 policy address Jan. 15, according to a government statement today.
China, which took back sovereignty over Hong Kong from the U.K. in 1997, said the city doesn’t need assistance from British or any other foreign governments to bring in universal suffrage.
Hugo Swire, a minister in the U.K.’s Foreign Office, last month published comments his country offers its support.
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