In response to media enquiries, a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman today (February 23) said the following in relation to comments in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Office's Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong (July – December 2009) relating to Hong Kong:
"We welcome the report's conclusion that the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle has worked well and that the rights and freedoms guaranteed for Hong Kong have been respected.
Regarding the issue of constitutional development, the Central Authorities and the HKSAR Government are committed to enabling Hong Kong to roll forward democracy in accordance with the Basic Law. The decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) in December 2007 has made clear the universal suffrage timetable: that for the Chief Executive (CE) is 2017 and that for the Legislative Council (LegCo) is 2020. In the meantime, the elections for CE and LegCo in 2012 can be made more democratic.
In attaining universal suffrage, the objective of the current-term HKSAR Government is to determine, within the framework of the NPCSC's 2007 decision, the two electoral methods for 2012 by injecting new democratic elements into the electoral arrangements, so as to pave the way for implementing universal suffrage.
The three-month public consultation on the two electoral methods for 2012 concluded on February 19. During the public consultation, we consulted the community widely through a variety of channels to gauge public views.
We warmly welcome the fact that different political parties, organisations and members of the public have been very active in expressing their views. During the consultation period, we have received more than 40,000 written submissions. Different groups have also put to us about 1.6 million signatures.
We will first summarise, analyse and conclude the views received, before formulating our proposed package for the 2012 elections, in the hope that the package will be acceptable to different parties.
As reflected in the opinion polls conducted by universities and various organisations, it is the majority view that Hong Kong should strive to make democratic progress in 2012, and should not allow another stalemate in constitutional development.
As for the universal suffrage models for the CE and LegCo, the NPCSC decision has already stated that when universal suffrage for the CE is implemented in 2017, after being nominated by the nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures, the CE should be elected through universal suffrage by all registered electors i.e. one-person-one-vote.
We have also reiterated that any universal suffrage model for the LegCo in 2020 should comply with the principles of universal and equal suffrage."
Ends/Tuesday, February 23, 2010