|Leung Chun-ying and Zhang Xiaoming at today's Basic Law symposium|
|Leong asks if Leung should be treated "like an emperor"|
He added: "Hong Kong is not a political system that exercises the separation of powers; not before the handover, not after the handover." Zhang said separation of powers "is usually established in sovereign states" and so it is "at best" only a reference for Hong Kong.
Basically Zhang is saying is that Leung and successive chief executives of Hong Kong are above the law. By the way how can he say there was no separation of powers before then handover when China did not have jurisdiction over Hong Kong?
|Lee asks why interpretation of the Basic Law "keeps changing"|
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Labour Party said, "In the long run, how would Hong Kong people have faith in the Basic Law, whose meaning keeps changing?"
Lau Siu-kai, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, a top pro-Beijing think tank, sought to play down Zhang's comments. "From the mainland's perspective, it is a separation of powers under the leadership of the executive. The three powers are not equally important and do not share the same status," he said.
"Under the Basic Law, the executive, legislature and judiciary have their own powers and duties. But the chief executive's position is supreme," Lau said.
|Lau plays down what Zhang said... then what does he mean?|
Article 64 states the executive branch "must abide by the law and be accountable to the Legislative Council of the region", while Article 85 says Hong Kong courts "shall exercise judicial power independently, free from any interference. Members of the judiciary shall be immune from legal action in the performance of their judicial functions".
And finally with regards to the Legislative Council, it has the power to file a motion charging the chief executive with serious breach of law or dereliction of duty in a process that can lead to impeachment after an investigation by the judiciary.
So what is Zhang talking about then?
How can he re-interpret the Basic Law when the three institutions' functions are pretty clearly spelled out?
Is this Zhang's way of giving Leung a major ego boost, or tipping his hand for 2017? Or is he making these incorrect statements to rile up the pro-democracy camp to prove who's got the upper hand?
He should really check his facts before making such potentially explosive statements...