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CAB: Build consensus on constitutional development

In response to the views of the Honourable Yeung Sum broadcast on RTHK Radio 3 this morning, a spokesman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau made the following statement today (December 21):

"The Hong Kong SAR Government will make full use of the coming three years to carry out the review of constitutional development beyond 2007. We will start listening to and collecting public views in early 2004. We will deal with the procedures under the Basic Law as necessary in 2005 and deal with local legislation as necessary in 2006.

The Chief Executive has stated in his National Day address that it is the clear duty of the current Administration to pursue democratic advancement according to the Basic Law.

Hong Kong is a pluralistic society, and certainly different views have emerged in respect of the pace of constitutional development. We need to make a collective effort to narrow our mutual differences, widen the common ground and build consensus within the community.

In dealing with the subject of constitutional development, the Government will adopt an open and receptive attitude.

We will consult widely through various channels and promote discussion in the community among professional and trade bodies, Legislative Councillors, political parties, political groups and other community organisations, so as to seek to build consensus on the way forward according to the principle of gradual and orderly progress and in the light of the actual situation in Hong Kong as stipulated in the Basic Law."

Ends/Sunday, December 21, 2003