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Transcript of SCA at 2007 Voter Registration Campaign launching ceremony

The following is the English portion of the transcript of the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, speaking to the media after the launching ceremony of the 2007 Voter Registration Campaign today (June 2):

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs: I am very grateful to all of you for coming today to help us deal with the coverage on the voter registration campaign for 2007. Over the years, Hong Kong has already had quite a lot of achievements on the electoral front.

Firstly, the total number of registered voters now is close to 3.2 million. This is a very substantial improvement since the early days when we first had voters registered and elections organised for the District Boards in 1982.

In 2003, we also set a record of having one million people cast their votes in the DC (District Council) election in November. The voter turnout rate was 44 per cent.

In 2004 September, we had 1.7 million people coming out to vote. The voter registration rate was high in that year, and the turnout rate was 55.6 per cent. So, we very much want to continue with this momentum and encourage everybody in Hong Kong who is over 18 years old (and who are permanent residents) to come out and register as a voter, so that he or she can take part in the DC election in November this year and next year's Legislative Council (LegCo) election in September. So, do your part and register as a voter.

Reporter: ... (inaudible)...

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs: You are asking about the speculation in media reports about the appointment of principal officials. We have consistently said in recent weeks that we are still arranging for the re-organisation of policy bureaux in the Government Secretariat to be approved by the LegCo. The process will take us until June 13. We need the LegCo's approval of a resolution, and thereafter the Chief Executive will nominate the principal officials to the Central People's Government for appointment. So I think any news concerning the appointment of the new team for the HKSAR Government on July 1, 2007, you have to wait until the second half of June.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, June 2, 2007