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LCQ1: Selection of the Chief Executive and election of all LegCo Members by universal suffrage

Following is a question by Hon Ronny Tong and an oral reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (June 27):


Given that Articles 45 and 68 of the Basic Law respectively provide that the ultimate aims are the selection of the Chief Executive and the election of all the members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has set up any standing mechanism for regularly reporting to the Central People's Government (Central Government) on the progress of achieving the above aims, according to the actual situation of HKSAR's democratic development; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether the HKSAR Government will, before consulting the public on the Green Paper on Constitutional Development, consult the Central Government on the proposals in the Green Paper concerning the implementation of Articles 45 and 68 of the Basic Law; if it will, when it will consult the Central Government and by when the Central Government is requested to provide a reply; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) how the HKSAR Government will deal with the views received during the public consultation on the Green Paper, and of the criteria and means for formulating the ultimate direction of constitutional development; whether it will take into account the Central Government's views in the process; if it will, of the weighting given to such views; if not, how it will deal with the Central Government's views?


Madam President,

(a) We have maintained communication with the Central Authorities regarding Hong Kong’s democratic development. The Central Authorities are certainly aware of the sentiments of Hong Kong people. Under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law, the Central Authorities have the ultimate power to determine the constitutional development of Hong Kong. It is our consistent position that we will not publicly comment in detail on our communication with the Central Authorities.

(b) Regarding the issue of universal suffrage, the focus is put on the discussions within the Hong Kong community at this stage. We hope that, through publishing a green paper on constitutional development and conducting public consultation, the community will be able to forge consensus and form a mainstream view. At this stage, our emphasis is on listening to the views of the Hong Kong community. The Central Authorities are certainly concerned about the discussion of the green paper within the Hong Kong community.

(c) During his election campaign, the Chief Executive (CE) had made it clear that he hoped that the Hong Kong community could ultimately form a mainstream view on the issue of universal suffrage. Any mainstream proposals formed should be consistent with the Basic Law, and should not require any amendments to the main provisions of the Basic Law. The proposals should also stand a reasonable chance of attracting majority support among Hong Kong people, securing two-thirds majority in the Legislative Council and being considered seriously by the Central Authorities. The CE has already undertaken to reflect faithfully any mainstream views formed during the public consultation and other views expressed to the Central Authorities.

Ends/Wednesday, June 27, 2007