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Legislators should take into account people's aspirations for progress in 2012 electoral systems

     In response to media enquiries regarding the remarks made by Legislative Councillor Albert Chan in his "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast on RTHK today (May 23), a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman said :

     "In handling the issue of Hong Kong's constitutional development, the HKSAR Government has always attached importance to public opinion and respected the different views expressed in the community. We hope that the pan-democratic legislators will also take into account the clear aspirations expressed by the people of Hong Kong to see progress made in the electoral systems in 2012.

     "The voter turnout rate in the Legislative Council By-election held on May 16 was not only the lowest-ever turnout rate for any Legislative Council general election or by-election since the establishment of the HKSAR, it was also way below the target set by the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats themselves. Instead of striving to place the blame for the low turnout rate on the HKSAR Government and political parties which had refused to take part in the by-election exercise, Mr Albert Chan should face up to public opinion, i.e. some 60 per cent of the public do not support the so-called 'referendum in the five constituencies'.

     "In the last few months, the Hong Kong community had been engrossed with the by-election exercise which had given rise to much dispute among our community. The time has come for the community to refocus its efforts on dealing with the 2012 electoral reforms in a rational manner. Although the constitutional development package proposed by the HKSAR Government may not be the most ideal in the minds of everyone in the community, we have obtained a clear universal suffrage timetable. We have also responded to one of the main reasons that the pan-democratic legislators had voted down the political package in 2005, by proposing that only elected District Council Members returned by 'one person, one vote' can participate in the election of the District Council subsector seats in the Election Committee (for returning the Chief Executive) and, through the 'proportional representation system', in the election of the District Council Functional Constituency seats in the Legislative Council.

     "According to opinion polls conducted by various academic and other non-governmental organisations, there are some 50 to 60 per cent of members of the public who would like to see the Legislative Council passing the 2012 constitutional development package. We sincerely call upon the pan-democratic legislators to take into account mainstream public opinion, to be accommodating, and to work together to build a consensus within our community, so that Hong Kong can implement universal suffrage in 2017 for the Chief Executive and in 2020 for the Legislative Council."

Ends/Sunday, May 23, 2010