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Response to European Commission's Annual Report on Hong Kong 2010

     In response to media enquiries, a Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau spokesman made the following response today (April 15) to the Joint Report from the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to the Council and the European Parliament on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) 2010:

     "We welcome that the European Commission acknowledges in its report that the implementation of the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle in the HKSAR remained satisfactory and the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong's people continued to be respected.

     In respect of Hong Kong's constitutional development, the decision adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) in December 2007 has made clear the universal suffrage timetable for Hong Kong, i.e. the Chief Executive may be elected by universal suffrage in 2017 and the Legislative Council (LegCo) may be elected by universal suffrage in 2020. Moreover, the two electoral methods for 2012 can be made more democratic.

     The constitutional reform package for 2012 introduced by the Government was passed by the LegCo in June last year and the relevant amendments to Annexes I and II of the Basic Law were approved or recorded respectively by the NPCSC in August 2010. This greatly enhances the democratic elements of the two electoral methods for 2012 and broadens the room for political participation. Under the package, close to 60% of all seats in the LegCo will have an electorate base of over three million electors. All registered electors will have two votes in the 2012 LegCo election, one in the Geographical Constituency election and the other in the Functional Constituency election.

     The passage of the Chief Executive Election (Amendment) Bill and the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill by the LegCo on March 3 and 5 this year respectively implements the constitutional reform package."

Ends/Friday, April 15, 2011