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Press Releases

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Government response regarding electoral system

     In response to media enquiry regarding the bicycle parade held by the League of Social Democrats today (January 1), 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 roll forward Hong Kong's electoral system to a mid-way point in 2012, so that we can set a firm foundation for universal suffrage of the Chief Executive (CE) and the Legislative Council (LegCo) to be attained in 2017 and 2020 respectively.

     "While the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has made clear that universal suffrage will not be implemented in 2012, there is still plenty of room to make the elections for the CE and the LegCo in 2012 more democratic.

"The HKSAR Government will consult the public on the 2012 electoral arrangements this year. We hope that different political parties will actively put forth their views and work together with the HKSAR Government to build consensus.

     "With Hong Kong now facing an economic downturn amid the financial tsunami, we believe that no responsible political leaders would wish to see the community's stability and development affected by the emotional debate and conflict about universal suffrage among different political parties. We urge all parties concerned, with utmost sincerity, to bring an end to such unnecessary contention, and to move towards building consensus for the electoral arrangements in 2012 to roll forward."

Ends/Thursday, January 1, 2009