Following is a transcript (English portion) of the remarks made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, to the media before attending the Legislative Council meeting this afternoon (October 27):
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I would like to emphasise that in dealing with the question of elected District Council seats, the approach of the Government is to first set the overall scene for the 2012 constitutional reforms, and thereafter to determine the number of elected seats for the District Council Elections in 2011. Since July, we have already put the proposal for increasing the number of elected seats to 412 to the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Constitutional Affairs. In the early part of the commencement of the 2010 LegCo session, as soon as proceedings began, we put forth the subsidiary legislation to implement the proposed increase in the number of elected seats. Therefore, we warmly welcome the inclination on the part of the LegCo sub-committee to expedite the examination of the proposed subsidiary legislation.
As soon as the order is passed by LegCo, for example in November, it would be possible for the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) to publish a report (say by December) on the proposed delineation of constituency boundaries for the 412 seats. Thereafter, political parties and prospective candidates will all have a pretty clear idea on the demarcation of the constituency boundaries and can make preparations for taking part in the District Council Elections in November 2011.
After the public consultation on the proposed delineation of constituency boundaries, there may be some minor adjustments, but the overall scene would be very clear. Therefore, on the part of the EAC, following public consultation, we expect that it will be possible for the commission to put forth a report to the Government (by the first quarter of 2011) on the final proposals for the delineation of the constituency boundaries. We will, of course, expedite the processing of the necessary subsidiary legislation.
Our overall approach is to enable political parties and prospective candidates concerned to have the better part of a year to make preparations for the elections in 2011.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, October 27, 2010