In response to the bicycle parade held by the League of Social Democrats (LSD) this (January 1) afternoon, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said:
"Now that the timetable for universal suffrage has been set, the Hong Kong community will expect political parties to cooperate and work together with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government to ensure that the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council may be elected by universal suffrage respectively in 2017 and 2020.
"Hong Kong is entering a most important chapter in its constitutional history. In making clear the universal suffrage timetable for the HKSAR, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) has given a very sincere and positive response to the aspirations of the people of Hong Kong for early implementation of universal suffrage. We must treasure this hard-earned opportunity and all try to apply fresh thinking to secure a consensus on the electoral models to roll forward democracy in 2012 and to pave the way for universal suffrage to be attained in 2017 and 2020. There is ample room and time for Hong Kong's political parties and the HKSAR Government to build consensus in these respects.
"If emotional debate and conflict about universal suffrage drags on among different political parties, Hong Kong's stability and development will be affected. We urge everyone, with utmost sincerity, to bring an end to such unnecessary contention, and to move towards reconciliation.
"As responsible political leaders, at this point in time, political parties and Legislative Councillors should promote mutual cooperation. Our community cherishes stability, prosperity and the opportunity to roll forward democracy. Political parties should assist in safeguarding these attributes of Hong Kong. They should seize the opportunity and work together with the HKSAR Government to implement universal suffrage in accordance with the NPCSC decision."
Ends/Tuesday, January 1, 2008