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Response to statement by UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office

     In response to media enquiries, a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman today (May 28) said the following in relation to the statement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom regarding constitutional development in Hong Kong:

     "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.

     "The HKSAR Government has put forth a package of proposals for the two electoral methods for 2012, which can enhance the democratic elements of the two elections in 2012 through the participation of elected District Council members who have a broad electorate base. This can also pave the way for implementing universal suffrage. The mainstream view within the community is that the constitutional development of Hong Kong should be rolled forward in 2012, so as to pave the way for implementing universal suffrage. If Hong Kong can achieve consensus on the 2012 electoral methods, we will have more confidence and will be in a better position to implement universal suffrage.

     "As to the future universal suffrage models, the HKSAR Government has made it clear that they should comply with the Basic Law and the principles of universality and equality.

     "The HKSAR Government has been reflecting pro-actively and faithfully to the Central Authorities the views of different political parties and individuals on constitutional development, and their aspiration to communicate with the Central Authorities. We hope that the communication which has started recently will create a rational and pragmatic environment for Hong Kong, so as to help the community narrow differences and forge consensus on the proposed package for 2012.

     "The issue of universal suffrage is a matter for the HKSAR and the Central Authorities to deal with according to the Basic Law. We hope and believe that foreign governments will continue to respect this principle."

Ends/Friday, May 28, 2010