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Polls reflect more people support passage of proposed 07/08 electoral package

In response to the rally staged at Central today (December 10), a Constitutional Affairs Bureau spokesman said that various opinion polls, including the one released by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong yesterday, indicated that a majority of Hong Kong people supported passage of the proposed 2007/08 electoral package, and that they also agreed that the electoral arrangements for 2007/08 should be handled separately from the issue of a timetable for universal suffrage.

He said, "The HKSAR Government is clearly aware of the community’s aspirations on universal suffrage. The Commission on Strategic Development has commenced work on a road map for universal suffrage.

"The Chief Executive (CE) has stated clearly that the Commission on Strategic Development will strive to conclude discussions on the principles and concepts relating to universal suffrage by the middle of next year, and on the design of a universal suffrage election model for the CE and the legislature by early 2007."

The spokesman said that as mentioned by the CE, the room for adjustment was very narrow. The Constitutional Development Task Force was working hard to perfect the package and would strive to secure greater consensus and support of the Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) to ensure passage of the government proposals on December 21.

"There is no conflict between formulating a road map and timetable for universal suffrage and supporting the proposed electoral package; the two can co-exist and complement each other. We hope that the proposed electoral package for 2007/08 will be passed by the LegCo and that we can take one step forward towards universal suffrage.

"Rejecting this package will only bring Hong Kong’s constitutional development to a halt and will contribute nothing to achieving universal suffrage at an early date," he said.

Ends/Saturday, December 10, 2005