Eddie Chu says it is not the time to restart the political reform when the pro-democracy camp still lacks bargaining power vis-á-vis Beijing. And John Tsang is his worst nightmare for the strangest reason imaginable: he’s too good.
Legislator-elect Eddie Chu Hoi-dick (朱凱迪) has called on the pro-democracy camp not to make any political deals with the new chief executive, whoever he or she will be, as long as pro-dems and the self-determination camps lack the bargaining power that would accrue from being the majority in the city’s legislature.
Speaking at a luncheon hosted by The Foreign Correspondents’ Club today (11 October), the undisputed ‘King of Votes’ in last month’s LegCo New Territories West election hoped that the force pushing for democratic self-determination will continue to expand within the LegCo.
“There is a wide range of options from independence to amending the Basic Law,” Chu said, targeting in particular Articles 158 and 159 of the Basic Law which empowers the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to interpret and amend the city’s mini constitution. “The principle is that Hong Kong people’s future should not be decided by Beijing.”
Chu claimed that his overwhelming popularity was a result of the younger generation demanding a new vision of Hong Kong’s political system which is distinguished from that of the traditional pan-democrats. He however distanced himself from the more radical, violence-prone localists whom he called “right-wing nationalists”, comparing himself to Podemos in Spain with a left-wing populist stance. He is also more aligned to the traditional pan-democrats when it comes to supporting democratic movement in China.
Please not John
When asked what would be the worst scenario in the upcoming Chief Executive election in March 2017, Chu asserted that people should be more aware of what will come next if a more accommodating candidate gets elected and appeals to the pan-democrats with another suboptimal, but politically tempting, ‘good enough’ reform proposal. He was particularly concerned about John Tsang, one of the hopefuls, being too kind a person for the pro-democrats to resist, calling him a ‘nice guy’ and adding that he didn’t not want to see another compromise between the Democratic Party and Beijing.
“Actually I am quite afraid that [John Tsang] will be elected,” he chuckled. Nor did he support the idea of a de facto referendum proposed by several radical lawmakers. “I don’t think that will give [a] real threat to Beijing. […] The only way for Hong Kong people to have a real bargaining power is to have a majority of the LegCo.”
Apart from the bigger political concerns, Chu said he will continue to fight against the landlords and gentries within Heung Yee Kuk through abolishing appointed seats in the rural council, naming that one rare target he and developers have in common. He will also mobilise villagers to take a more active role in the next rural representative election scheduled for 2019 to reform the rural committee system.
The journalist-turned green activist added: “I will be the ‘news breaker’ inside the LegCo [..] to expose all sorts of collusion between different power networks.”