In response to media enquiries, a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman made the following response today (March 25) to the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Office's six-monthly Report on Hong Kong (July-December 2010):
"We welcome the report's conclusion that the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle has worked well and that the rights and freedoms guaranteed for Hong Kong have been respected.
In respect of Hong Kong's constitutional development, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government warmly welcomes the passage of the Chief Executive Election (Amendment) Bill and the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill by the Legislative Council (LegCo) on March 3 and 5, 2011 respectively.
The passage of these two Bills can complement the constitutional reform package for 2012 passed by the LegCo in June last year, which greatly enhances the democratic elements of the two electoral methods for 2012 and broaden the room for political participation:
(a) regarding the method for electing the Chief Executive (CE) in 2012, the size of the Election Committee will be increased from 800 to 1,200 members. There will be 400 extra representatives representing over 30 Election Committee subsectors. This will provide more room for members of the community to participate in the CE election;
(b) regarding the method for electing the LegCo in 2012, the number of seats will be increased from 60 to 70:
(i) five of the new seats will be returned in the geographical constituencies (GC) by universal suffrage; and
(ii) the other five new seats will be returned from the new District Council (DC) functional constituency (FC), where elected DC members, who are returned by universal suffrage, can stand for the election. The 3.2 million registered electors who currently do not have a vote in FCs will return the five seats.
After the change, close to 60 per cent of all seats in the LegCo will have an electorate base of over three million voters. All registered voters will have two votes in the 2012 LegCo election, one in the GC election and the other in the FC election."
Ends/Friday, March 25, 2011