I have discussed the possible meanings of Article 45 of the Basic Law – dealing with universal suffrage – here before. One interesting peripheral point that came out from ‘In Conversation‘ with Anson Chan, is that Anson Chan has obviously spent some time thinking about the meaning of the article, and seems to have concluded that the term “in accordance with democratic procedures” applies to the actual nominating, i.e. that the nominating by the Nomination Committee must be done in accordance with democratic procedures.
Here is what Anson said: “[T]he nomination process has to be a democratic process”. When the interviewer put it to her that that was her view, she reminded him that that is in fact what the Article itself says – and she is right of course. So with Beijing’s constant insistence on doing everything according to the Basic Law (which is a perfectly valid point), why not do just that, starting with a proper construction of the term ‘in accordance with democratic procedures’.
In the end, in a few months or so, we will find that the government will chose some mechanism by which the nominating will not be done in accordance with democratic procedures, and there will be the inevitable JRs and the courts will then have to find a way to wiggle out of it all.