In response to media enquiries on the comments by Legislative Councillor Lee Cheuk-yan in RTHK's "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast earlier today (January 25) regarding the HKSAR Government’s decision to postpone the public consultation on the 2012 electoral arrangements, a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said:
"The Chief Executive decided to slightly postpone the public consultation on the 2012 electoral arrangements to the fourth quarter of this year, so as to allow the community to focus on dealing with the economic issues arising from the financial tsunami. The community will still have sufficient time to discuss and to forge consensus on the two electoral methods for 2012. The objective of the HKSAR Government to determine the two electoral methods for 2012 within its tenure has not changed.
"We will embark on the public consultation in the fourth quarter of 2009, and deal with the amendments to Annexes I and II to the Basic Law by no later than the fourth quarter of 2010. Thereafter, we will deal with local legislation before the summer of 2011, which will leave us sufficient time to make practical arrangements for the two elections to be held 2012.
"At this stage, we will continue to make preparations for the public consultation exercise and conduct internal studies on the subject. We will also listen to the views expressed within the community, which will serve as a reference for conducting the public consultation in the fourth quarter of this year.
"The aim of the Government is to roll forward the electoral methods for 2012 to a mid-way point, so as to pave the way for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive in 2017 and the Legislative Council in 2020."
Ends/Sunday, January 25, 2009