In response to the processions and public meetings today (March 28), a Government spokesman said that the HKSAR Government was encouraged by the interest and active participation of young people in the discussion of Hong Kong’s constitutional development. At the same time, the HKSAR government hoped that young people and people from different sectors of the community could keep an open mind and be accommodating, and worked together to forge consensus on the two electoral methods for 2012 in a rational and pragmatic manner, so as to take an important step forward in Hong Kong’s democratic development and pave the way for implementing universal suffrage in future.
The spokesman said that the HKSAR Government already published the Green paper on Constitutional Development in 2007 to consult the public extensively on the options, roadmap and timetable for implementing universal suffrage. In his report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC), the Chief Executive (CE) reflected faithfully the public's aspirations for universal suffrage, including that:
(1) in the opinion polls, more than half of the public supported the implementation of universal suffrage for the CE and the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2012. The CE also made it clear to the Central Authorities that these views should be taken seriously and given consideration;
(2) at the same time, about 60 per cent of the public accepted the implementation of universal suffrage for the CE in 2017, if this could not be attained in 2012.
"The NPCSC made a decision in December 2007, making it clear that Hong Kong may implement universal suffrage for the CE and the LegCo in 2017 and 2020 respectively. The NPCSC's decision was made by taking into full account various factors, including the aspirations for universal suffrage of Hong Kong people and the actual situation of Hong Kong. This decision also received the support of more than half of the LegCo members and 60 per cent of the public,” said the spokesman.
The spokesman said that, regarding the universal suffrage model for the CE, the NPCSC's decision had already made it clear that when universal suffrage for the CE was implemented in 2017, the nominating committee might be formed with reference to the current provisions regarding the Election Committee in Annex I to the Basic Law. The NPCSC's decision also stipulated that the nominating committee shall in accordance with democratic procedures nominate a certain number of candidates for the office of the CE, who would be elected through universal suffrage by all registered electors of the HKSAR (i.e. one-person-one-vote).
“If the composition of the Election Committee for 2012 can be dealt with properly, it will facilitate the transformation of the Election Committee into the nominating committee when universal suffrage is implemented in 2017. The only remaining issue that needs to be dealt with is how CE candidates should be nominated in accordance with democratic procedures.
“As to how the functional constituencies should be dealt with in future, the HKSAR Government understands that there are many different views within the community. This issue is a subject of controversy and the community will have sufficient time to discuss. The HKSAR Government has already made it clear that any universal suffrage model for LegCo in 2020 should comply with the Basic Law and the principles of universal and equal suffrage,” said the spokesman.
Ends/Sunday, March 28, 2010