In response to media enquiries regarding the remarks made by Legislative Councillor Ronny Tong in his "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast on RTHK today (March 14), a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman said:
"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 made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) in 2007 has made it clear that Hong Kong may implement universal suffrage for the Chief Executive in 2017 and thereafter for the Legislative Council in 2020. In the meantime, in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress, elections of the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council in 2012 can be made more democratic.
"During the public consultation on the 2012 electoral arrangements, apart from attending meetings at the Legislative Council (LegCo), the HKSAR Government also met with individual political parties to gauge their views on the relevant issues. Notwithstanding that the public consultation has closed on February 19, the HKSAR Government will continue to listen to the views of different political parties, in the hope that we can formulate a proposed package that will be able to secure the endorsement of LegCo.
"Noting that recent discussions on constitutional development have taken a more rational and pragmatic course, the HKSAR Government welcomes this development and considers that this will help promote positive interaction within the community and will be conducive to Hong Kong moving towards further democratisation."
Ends/Sunday, March 14, 2010