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47人案求情.被指組織者|吳政亨親撰求情信 指支持初選但從沒主張否決預算案

47人案求情.被指組織者|吳政亨親撰求情信 指支持初選但從沒主張否決預算案

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吳政亨被指透過「三投三不投」運動推動初選。(資料圖片)

以下為石書銘庭上讀出的吳政亨求情信全文(中文為記者翻譯;英文原文見文末):

在審訊中,我被稱為 D5 及我的別名「李伯盧」。我希望告知法庭我是誰,以及我因為甚麼原因參與這個公民和政治的舞台當中。

我於 1978 年在香港出生,13 歲時隨父母移民到澳洲,在新南威爾士大學取得理學士學位(主修數學)和商學碩士學位(主修精算研究)。畢業後,我投身金融界。我先在澳洲,後來在香港工作了超過 10 年。人生中,我從未加入任何政黨,也從未參選任何選舉。我也沒有任何刑事案底。

成長過程中,我絕少對政策取向有很大意見,所以從未走進政治的世界。但我一直堅信自由民主的原則,以及互相制衡在社會中的價值。因為在任何社會中,不同成員之間總會有分歧,社會要茁壯發展,往往要先解決這些分歧。以文明、民主的方式來解決這些分歧,比起用通過暴力或壓迫解決更為可取。此外,由於「權力使人腐化,絕對權力使人絕對腐化」,我相信公平和恆常的公平選舉是最好的制衡手段,防止權力走向專制。基於上述原因,我支持香港民主運動,因為我認為他們爭取民主的目標是高尚的,也是令到這個城市得以持續發展的明智之舉。

對我來說,若泛民主派可在立法會中取得多數席位,實現了立法機關權力的和平交接,這明顯是香港民主運動的巨大進步。這意味着,任何的政府法案,民主派都可在審查其內容後,根據判斷決定接受或者拒絕。這是民主派在香港特別行政區歷史上從未擁有過的強大權力。如果民主派還能在行政長官選舉之中獲勝,並在立法會佔據多數席位,他們就可以建立真正的執政聯盟,這將改變香港的民主面貌,我相信是好的改變。

要在這兩個選舉中任何一個取得勝利,民主派明顯面對巨大的障礙。首先,香港的選舉制度明顯不利於他們,這顯然亦是過去他們無法將在民意中的優勢,轉化為選舉勝利的主要原因。但是,我也認為民主陣營本身也應該承擔部分責任。長久以來,我一直對民主陣營內部的持續內鬥感到沮喪,這加劇了他們在選舉中的不佳表現。要推進民主運動,這些內部分歧都需要解決。正如我前面所說,我認為通過文明、民主的方式來解決是最好的方法,這代表要在民主陣營內部進行初選。我認為若內部分歧獲適當地處理,實現到團結,就有可能達成更多進展。

正是基於這個原因,我開始熱衷於民主派內部的初選。在我看來,要在舉行這樣的初選明顯是非常困難,因為此前從未成功過。我竭盡全力去令這個夢想得以實現。

然而,在我追求這目標的過程中,有個明顯的問題,就是我在政治的世界中是無名氏。我在公眾和政治界別中,完全沒有知名度,從庭上被告均供稱不認識我,就能看出這一點,很難想像我能發揮影響力。然而,民主的美妙之處就在於在選舉中,不管一個人的地位如何,他的一票就是一票,不多也不少。參與投票是選民的權利,甚至可以說是義務,無論自己的份額或貢獻是多麼有限。同樣地,儘管我在政治界別完全是個局外人,但我認為即使我的貢獻微不足道,我也有權利甚至有義務,去做一些事情來提高初選成功的機會。我是抱着這心態,發起了「三投三不投」運動。

在整個過程中,我一直保持局外人的身分。正如法庭判決而且我同意的那樣,我沒有參與「35+ 計劃」的組織工作或任何協調會議,我也沒有參選。這就是為甚麼我對於被指控為組織者時會如此驚訝的原因。我和首被告戴耀廷教授的關係,事實上更像是遊說團體與決策者,而我的遊說很大程度上是被忽視。我的主要主張,是參與者應該將初選的結果視為最終結果,例如,現實地他們只能將目標定在取得九東的 3 席,在我看來,他們就應該只允許九東只有 3 人可勝出初選。然而,組織者堅持容許 5 人勝出,並計劃在大選前夕再進行一次基於民調的二度競逐。我認為這做法會完全違背當初舉行初選的目的。我多次向組織者和候選人抗議(包括戴耀廷在 2020 年 5 月 20 日轉發予候選人的公開信),但我最後無法改變到任何事。

重要的是,要求候選人承諾否決政府預算案,從來都不是我的主張。事實上,直到它成為公共議題,我才知情,絕對肯定它不是我支持初選、發起「三投三不投」運動的初衷。正如我解釋,我認為民主陣營在立法會獲得多數席位,本身就有明顯的益處,所以我從未認為要加上這個額外條件,甚至在某種程度上,我亦認為它是不太可取的。因為我擔心這個問題有機會在民主派候選人之間造成分歧,並可能威脅到初選能否成功。當我說樂見候選人已達成共識時,我明確表達具體措辭並不重要,因為令我高興的是他們能夠達成共識,使初選得以舉行,而不是達成共識的內容。這也是為甚麼,後來我意識到有些候選人拒絕簽署承諾否決預算,與之前聲稱所有人都會簽署相矛盾時,我叫大家將這件事放在一旁,先集中精力完成初選。因為由始至終,我對初選的支持都不是取決於是否附帶承諾否決預算案。我支持初選,純粹是初選本身。

最後需要指出的是,我已盡最大努力確保「三投三不投」運動符合法律,無論是《選舉(貪污及非法行為)條例》、《預防及控制疾病條例》還是其他。我相信法治是任何自由民主社會不可或缺的一部分,只有在制訂的法律合理,並得到尊重和公正執行的情況下,一個社會才有繁榮的希望。

我懇請法庭在考慮我的判刑時考慮上述因素。

吳政亨的代表大狀石書銘(資料圖片)
吳政亨的代表大狀石書銘(資料圖片)

* * *

Throughout the trial I was referred to as D5 and also my alias Lee Bak Loh. I wish to tell the Court who I am, what brought me into this arena of civil and political participation.

I was born in Hong Kong in the year 1978, and migrated to Australia with my parents at the age of 13. While I was there, I graduated with the Bachelor of Science (majoring in Mathematics) and the Master of Commerce (majoring in Actuarial Studies) degrees, both from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). After graduation, I entered the financial industry. I worked in the industry, first in Australia and later in Hong Kong, for more than a decade. At no point in my life did I have affiliation with any political parties, nor did I run in any elections. I have no previous criminal records.

Growing up, I was never too engaged in the world of politics, as I rarely had strong opinions regarding the specifics of policies one way or another. However, I have always strongly believed in the principles of liberal democracy, and the values of checks and balances in a society. Because in any community, there will always be differences in opinions among its members, and that these differences often need to be resolved before the said community can florish. It is much preferable if these differences were resolved through civilised and democratic means, rather than through violence or oppressions. Also, because “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, I believe that the holding of fair and regular elections provides the best counter balance against a power potentially becoming tyrannical.

It is for these reasons that I support the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, as I believe their cause of striving for democracy a noble one, and also a sensible one for the continued development of this city.

It was obvious to me that if the pro-democracy camp could obtain a majority in the LegCo and achieved a peaceful transfer of legislative power, it would be a huge step forward for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. This would mean that for any ordinary government bill, after examining its contents, the pro-democracy camp could choose to accept or reject it as they saw fit. This in itself would be an awesome power that they never possessed in the HKSAR’s history. If the pro-democracy camp could manage to win the Chief Executive Election as well alongside a majority in the LegCo, they could then secure a true governing coalition, and this could change the democratic landscape in Hong Kong for good, and I believe for the better.

Although clearly, there were huge obstacles to overcome before the pro-democracy camp could win either of these two elections. For one, the Hong Kong electoral system significantly disadvantaged the pro-democracy camp, and this was obviously the main reason why they could not translate their dominance in the popular votes into winning either of these two elections in the past. Yet, I thought the pro-democracy camp as a whole shouldered part of the blame as well. For too long, I had been dismayed at the continuous infighting within the pro-democracy camp, which contributed to their repeated underperformances in the elections. For the movement to proceed forward, these internal differences needed to be resolved.

As I explained earlier, I thought the best way to resolve such differences would be through a civilised and democratic process, and this meant a primary election within the pro-democracy camp. Once the internal differences were suitably dealt with, and unity was achieved, I thought much was possible afterwards.

It was through this reasoning that I developed a passion for such a primary election. It was also clear to me that such primary election for the LegCo General Election would be very difficult to bring to fruition, evidenced by the fact that such primary election had never been successfully held in Hong Kong before the material time. I endeavoured to do my utmost to help make this pipedream into a reality.

There was, however, a glaring problem in my quest: I was a nobody in the political world. I had absolutely no name recognition among the public, nor among the political operators. This was made obvious by the fact that none of my co-defendants who gave evidence in Court knew who I was when asked. It was highly unlikely that I could make much of an impact in my endeavour. Yet, part of the beauty about democracy is that, in an election, no matter what a person’s status is, the person’s vote still counts as one vote, no more, no less. It is the voter’s right and possibly even the voter’s duty, to contribute a vote towards the total vote count, no matter how limited that contribution might be. Similarly, even though I was a complete outsider to the political world, I considered it my right, and possibly even my duty, to do something to increase the chance of a successful primary election, even if my contribution were going to be infinitesimal. It was with this mindset, that I launched the “Say No to Primary Dodgers” Campaign.

Throughout the whole process, I remained an outsider. As the Court had judged and I agreed, I did not take part in the organisation of this “Project 35+”, or any of the coordination meetings, and that I was not a candidate. That’s why I was so surprised when the prosecution accused me of being one of the organisers in this case. My relationship with D1 Prof. Benny Tai was actually more akin to the one that a lobbying group had with a policy maker, in which the lobbying effort was largely ignored. One of my main advocacies was for the participants to treat the Primary Election’s results as final, eg, since they could only realistically target three seats in the Kowloon East Constituency, in my opinion, they should allow only three primary victors there. Instead, the organisers insisted on allowing five victors in the said constituency, and planned to have a second race based on opinion polls right before the General Election. This, in my opinion, would defeat the whole purpose of having a primary election in the first place. I made repeated protestations about this to the organisers and the candidates (including the public letter forwarded by D1 to the candidates on the 20th May 2020), yet I was unable to change anything on that front.

It is important to note that among my advocacies, asking the candidates to promise to veto the Budget was never one of them. In fact, such notion never entered my mind until it became an issue in the public sphere, and it was most definitely not my original reason for supporting a primary election and launching my Campaign.

As I have explained earlier, I considered the benefits of the pro-democracy camp achieving a majority in the LegCo quite obvious by itself, so I never thought this additional condition was necessary, nor did I think it was even desirable to a certain extent. Since I feared that this issue would be a potentially divisive one among the pro-democracy candidates, and one that could threaten the success of a primary election being held. While I expressed delight when I thought that the candidates had reached a consensus, I explicitly stated that the exact wordings of the consensus didn’t matter. Because what delighted me was the fact that they managed to reach a consensus, which allowed a primary to go ahead, rather than the contents of the consensus themselves. It was also why, when later on I realised that some candidates had refused to sign a promise to veto the Budget, contradicting a previous claim that all of them would sign such promise, I urged people to put that issue aside and to focus on completing the primary first. Because all along, my support for a primary election never hinged on whether it was attached with a promise to veto the Budget or not. My support for a primary election had always been for itself, and itself only.

Last but not least, it should be noted that I had done my utmost to ensure my Campaign complied with the laws, whether they be the Election (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance, or any others. I believe that the rule of law is an essential part of any liberal democracy. It is only when reasonable laws are enacted, and that these laws are respected and justly enforced, that a society can hope to prosper.

I urge the Court to consider the aforementioned factors when determining my sentencing.

HCCC69/2022、HCCC70/2022
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