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CAB's response to Hon Kwok Ka-ki: HKSAR Government committed to implementing universal suffrage

Commenting on the remarks made by Dr Hon Kwok Ka-ki on universal suffrage in his "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast on RTHK today (May 27), a spokesman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau said that the HKSAR Government was committed to implementing universal suffrage in accordance with the Basic Law.

He said, "During the recent third term Chief Executive (CE) election, Mr Donald Tsang undertook that he would deal with the issue of universal suffrage in the next five years. This position taken by the CE is more advanced than that adopted in any previous term of the HKSAR Government.

"In the election, Mr Tsang received over 80 per cent support from among Election Committee Members. Different opinion polls conducted by universities indicated that there was a similar level of support among the general public for Mr Tsang. This demonstrates that the Election Committee has broad representation. It also demonstrates that there is community support for the undertaking given by the CE to deal with the issue of universal suffrage.

"After the third term HKSAR Government has been formed in July, we will publish a Green Paper on constitutional development in mid-2007.

"We will set out in the Green Paper different views put forth by the Commission on Strategic Development and the community on the options, roadmap and timetable for implementing universal suffrage. In order to facilitate public discussion, we will summarise the relevant views and present three types of options in the Green Paper."

"At this stage, the HKSAR Government has not drawn any conclusions on the model for implementing universal suffrage, and has not rejected any proposal. All proposals received from different political parties, organisations and individuals will be covered by the Green Paper.

"We will consult the public widely on the Green Paper and will listen to the views of Legislative Council Members, individuals from different sectors and strata, as well as district personalities.

"Following the end of the three-month public consultation period, the HKSAR Government will summarise the views of the community and assess whether there is a foundation for us to come up with a set of mainstream views for taking forward the work to the next phase," he said.

The spokesman said that to form a mainstream view within the community, different political parties, organisations and individuals must build on common ground and accommodate mutual differences, and must be willing to consider the proposals of other people seriously with an open mind, so as to secure consensus for implementing universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

The HKSAR Government would submit a report to the Central Authorities reflecting faithfully any mainstream views formed and other views expressed, he said.

Ends/Sunday, May 27, 2007