The following is the transcript of the remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, to the media after attending the Legislative Council meeting this afternoon (June 15):
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: In June last year when the Chief Executive announced our proposals concerning the 2012 constitutional reforms, he made clear that, after the passage of these reforms, the HKSAR Government would present proposals to the Legislative Council concerning the abolition of the District Council appointment system. We will act accordingly. Our intention is to put forth these proposals as soon as possible before the District Council elections in November this year. Also, with the passage of the relevant legislation, in September 2012 the democratic elements of the Legislative Council elections will be enhanced. We will return five directly elected District Councillors through 3.2 million registered voters selecting their representatives to the legislature. This is the most direct link between the current system of the District Council hierarchy with the democratisation of elections at the legislature level in Hong Kong. The abolition of the appointment system in the District Council is a matter of common concern to us all but does not bear direct relations to the attainment of the ultimate aim of universal suffrage under Basic Law Articles 45 and 68.
Reporter: You were talking about coming up with the details before November 6. What are the problems that you are encountering? Why is there a delay? What exactly is stopping you from coming up with them right now?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: It is actually a matter of priority. In the course of the last 10, 12 months, we have been putting forth various pieces of legislation to deal with the implementation of the elections for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council in 2012. Currently in the Legislative Council, we are considering an amendment bill to deal with the replacement mechanism when Legislative Councillors resign or vacancies arise. Also, there is a miscellaneous provisions bill concerning various aspects of electoral arrangements. We are trying to come up with our proposals regarding the abolition of the District Council appointment system as soon as possible and we will do so before the District Council elections in November this year.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2011
LCQ4: Abolition of the District Council appointment system