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SCMA speaks to the media at LegCo

     The Legislative Council (LegCo) passed the Chief Executive Election (Amendment) Bill and the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill on March 3 and today (March 5) respectively. Following is the transcript of the remarks made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, at a media stand-up this morning:

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government warmly welcomes the passage of the two local legislation bills to complement the constitutional development package for 2012 passed by the Legislative Council (LegCo) in June last year.

     When the constitutional package was passed last year, the members of the public clearly witnessed three important elements. Firstly, the Basic Law procedure concerning constitutional change is fully practicable. Secondly, the HKSAR Government and different political parties can reach consensus to work in the interest of Hong Kong and to roll forward democracy. Thirdly, on the part of the Central Authorities and the HKSAR Government, we are fully committed to pursuing democracy for Hong Kong and to attaining universal suffrage for Hong Kong.

     The room for political participation has been broadened following the passage of these two Bills. Firstly, henceforth all members of the public who are registered voters will have two votes, one in geographical constituencies and another in functional constituencies. The room for political participation has also been broadened. For political parties and independent candidates who wish to take part in the next four rounds of elections, we have increased the size of the Election Committee from 800 members to 1,200 members, so there will be 400 extra representatives representing over 30 Election Committee subsectors. Also, we will increase the size of the LegCo in 2012 from 60 members to 70 members, and the 10 extra seats will witness very competitive election activities. We would like to encourage particularly members of the younger generation to come forth and take part in the next four rounds of elections.

     Before the middle of this year within the current LegCo session, we will also have to introduce another bill to deal with the issue of election petitions and appeals. Separately, we will also have to introduce various sets of subsidiary legislation to implement the arrangements for the next four sets of elections. I wish to take this opportunity to thank my team for making all the arrangements possible in previous months, but our work doesn't stop.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, March 5, 2011