In response to media enquiries on matters relating to constitutional development in 2012, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said today (January 6):
"According to the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) in December 2007, Hong Kong may implement universal suffrage for the Chief Executive (CE) and the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2017 and 2020 respectively. As regards the two electoral methods for 2012, appropriate amendments consistent with the principle of gradual and orderly progress may also be made. The HKSAR Government considers that we should deal with Hong Kong's constitutional development in phases, with a view to attaining universal suffrage.
The aim of the current-term HKSAR Government is to determine the two electoral methods for 2012 within its tenure. This could lay a solid foundation for attaining universal suffrage in 2017 and 2020. Between 2012 and 2017, the fourth-term CE and the fifth-term LegCo should address together the method for implementing universal suffrage for the CE. The CE taking office in 2017 will have to work with the LegCo returned in 2016 and come up with proposals to attain universal suffrage for the LegCo in 2020. This CE, returned by universal suffrage, will have broad public support to lead the Hong Kong community to resolve the relevant issue.
The decision of the NPCSC has made clear that the election of LegCo in 2012 shall not be implemented by the method of electing all the members by universal suffrage. The half-and-half ratio between members returned by functional constituencies and members returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections shall remain unchanged. Hence, it will not be necessary for us to determine at this stage how to deal with the functional constituencies in the long term.
As to how the two electoral methods for 2012 should be amended, the HKSAR Government has yet to form any views. We will consult the public on the relevant electoral arrangements this year. We hope that all parties concerned will work together to build consensus on the electoral arrangements for 2012."
Ends/Tuesday, January 6, 2009