Ending the Crisis with the Will of the People
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Peter Reading is a Human Rights lawyer for Amnesty International. This is what he had to say about universal suffrage for Hong Kong in a posting on Facebook:
"A fully democratic system of Government is not only wanted by the majority of people in Hong Kong, it clearly can work perfectly well.
A record 71.2% of people voted in the District Council elections, which is the only level of Government having complete universal suffrage. 392 of 452 seats were won by pro-democracy candidates, an incredible 86.7%.
As Michelle Bachelet the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner recently highlighted in an article about Hong Kong, what is needed now to resolve the crisis is establishing an inclusive dialogue with all key stakeholders on the fundamental issues connected with the protests including universal suffrage.
In fact the District Councils could provide the perfect forum for such a dialogue and building greater democracy, since a key function of District Councils is to advise the Government on 'matters affecting the wellbeing' of people in their districts, which clearly would include issues relating to democracy.
Re-opening the discussions on greater democracy in Hong Kong is not a threat to national sovereignty, but an unrealised goal promised to people under the Bill of Rights, and a route to enhance Hong Kong's unique system under which it has previously thrived.
Full democracy is the will of the people, would be a key means for resolving the crisis, and would help the Fragrant Harbour prosper again as the beautiful city where East meets West.