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LCQ5: Follow-up work to the passage of motions to amend the electoral methods in 2012

     Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (July 14):


     Regarding the follow-up work to the passage of the motions by this Council at the meeting of June 23 this year which were moved by the Government to amend the methods for selecting the Chief Executive (CE) and for forming the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2012, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will recommend to the next term of the SAR Government to adopt the approach of enacting the legislation in one go but implementing it by phases to enable the elections of CE in 2017 and LegCo in 2020 to be conducted by genuine universal suffrage; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether it will suggest the next term of the SAR Government to abolish the split voting system of LegCo in 2016, and how to lower the nomination threshold for the CE election in 2017 and how to abolish all functional constituency seats of LegCo, so that in 2020 the entire LegCo will be returned by universal suffrage which fully conforms with the "universal and equal" principle stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) given that the Government has undertaken to put forth expeditiously upon the passage of the aforesaid motions proposals at the local legislation level, to address the issue of abolishing appointed District Council seats, whether it will completely abolish such seats in 2011; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


Mr President,

     My reply to the question raised by the Hon Lee Wing-tat is as follows:

(a) In accordance with the decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) in 2007, the Chief Executive (CE) shall make a report to the NPCSC at an appropriate time prior to the selection of CE and the election of all the members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) by universal suffrage as regards the issue of amending the two electoral methods in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Basic Law, including the principles of gradual and orderly progress and being appropriate to the actual situation in the HKSAR, and the NPCSC Interpretation of April 2004; a determination thereon shall be made by the NPCSC.

     The next-term CE returned in 2012 should deal with the universal suffrage model for the CE in 2017. As for the universal suffrage model for the LegCo in 2020, it would be appropriate for the fifth-term CE returned by universal suffrage in 2017 to deal with it. This CE, returned by universal suffrage, will have broad public support to lead the Hong Kong community to resolve this controversial issue.

(b) Hong Kong will attain universal suffrage because of the Basic Law, and not the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The HKSAR Government has made it clear that the future universal suffrage models should comply with the Basic Law and the principles of universality and equality.

     Although the current-term HKSAR Government has only been authorised by the NPCSC to deal with the arrangements for the two elections in 2012, we have consolidated the views as to how the two electoral methods should be amended after 2012 received during the public consultation on the electoral methods for selecting the CE and for forming the LegCo in 2012, and would recommend the next-term Government to follow up actively and consider the relevant proposals seriously.

(c) The HKSAR Government will put forth local legislative proposals regarding the abolition of the District Council Appointment System after the LegCo resumes business in the autumn of this year. We will first listen to the views of the LegCo and the community before making a decision.

Ends/Wednesday, July 14, 2010