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Press Briefings & Releases

Press Briefings & Releases

Government driving constitutional development on all fronts

The Government was sincere in taking measures on all fronts to drive constitutional development and enhance governance, paving the way for Hong Kong's democratic development, Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Rafael Hui, told the Legislative Council today (October 26).

Mr Hui said, the Government had adopted an open and positive attitude in promoting constitutional development. It would invite individuals of various background to join the Committee on Governance and Political Development under the Commission on Strategic Development to work together in formulating a roadmap for attaining universal suffrage.

The Government also intends to open up some positions at the middle level of Government, to provide opportunities for individuals of various background to gain experience in public administration, and to help groom political talent for Hong Kong. Plans are in place to strengthen the functions of District Councils in the management of district facilities so that the councils will have both authority and responsibility. Mr Hui also pointed out that if the package of proposals for the 2007-08 elections proposed in the Fifth Report of the Constitutional Development Task Force was endorsed, there would be an increase in the number of seats in the Legislative Council.

On the issue of universal suffrage, Mr Hui pointed out that the different systems for universal suffrage in various places around the world had been developed according to their own individual circumstances. Under the framework enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitutional development must not deviate from the principle of an "executive-led" government.

Mr Hui said that when the Committee on Governance and Political Development began to examine how universal suffrage should be implemented in accordance with the principles and requirements of the Basic Law, it should ensure that the interests of different strata of the community should be looked after and the development of the economy under capitalism facilitated.

The committee will also need to discuss how the functional constituencies in the Legislative Council should evolve before attaining universal suffrage and what the composition and operation of the Legislative Council should be when universal suffrage is attained.

"We need to seriously examine what objectives are to be achieved through the implementation of universal suffrage, such as how to achieve a balanced budget and maintain a low tax regime," Mr Hui said.

"We need to build consensus in the community on how to implement universal suffrage in order to achieve our common objectives, in a way consistent with our political structure and values."

He stressed that constitutional development was an evolving process. It could not be attained in a blink. It had to be achieved in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress.

"When the conditions are ripe and all the supporting factors ready, universal suffrage will fall into place" Mr Hui said.

Ends/Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Issued at HKT 20:23


2004 | Important notices Last revision date: 1 July 2007
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