|LCQ2: Qualification for candidacy for the Chief Executive to be selected by universal suffrage
Following is a question by Hon Lee Cheuk-yan and an oral reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (June 27):
Regarding the qualification for candidacy of the Chief Executive (CE) to be selected by universal suffrage, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it knows if the Central Authorities currently agree to the following views put forward in an editorial published on February 2, 1944 in Xinhua Ribao, which was then under the charge of a late Premier, that whether the right to elect can be exercised thoroughly, fully and effectively has an inseparably close relationship with whether the right to be elected is unreasonably restricted and deprived of......for a true system of election by universal suffrage, not only should the right to elect be "universal" and "equal", the right to be elected should also be "universal" and "equal"......if a pre-determined qualification is prescribed for candidates, or certain people are even designated by the official authorities as candidates, then electors will only become tools for casting votes, even if the right to elect is not restricted;
(b) given that Article 45 of the Basic Law provides that candidates for the selection of CE by universal suffrage should be nominated in accordance with "democratic procedures", whether the Government has examined if the qualification for nomination as a candidate should be determined in accordance with the principles of "universal" and "equal", and no person should be given differential treatment or subject to unreasonable restriction in respect of his qualification for nomination as a candidate on grounds of his background, his being poor or rich, and his political or other convictions; and
(c) as some members of the Commission on Strategic Development have proposed that candidates for the selection of CE by universal suffrage should be screened by the Nominating Committee according to the preference of the Central Authorities, whether the Government has assessed if this is consistent with the provision of Article 45 of the Basic Law that candidates should be nominated in accordance with democratic procedures?
(a) The constitutional basis of the political structure of the HKSAR is based on the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law. The Central Authorities will certainly deal with Hong Kong's constitutional development in accordance with the relevant principles of the Basic Law.
(b) & (c) The model for electing the Chief Executive by universal suffrage must comply with the principles of HKSAR's political structure in the Basic Law, and the relevant provisions. Aside from provisions in the Basic Law, additional conditions will not be prescribed.
As to how the nomination method can comply with the requirement of "nomination in accordance with democratic procedures" as stipulated in Article 45 of the Basic Law (including the level of nomination threshold and the operation of the nominating committee), the issue has to be discussed actively within the community, with a view to reaching consensus after the HKSAR Government have published the green paper on constitutional development by the middle of this year.
Ends/Wednesday, June 27, 2007