The following is the transcript of the remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, this afternoon (June 18) to the media after attending the morning session of the special meeting of the Legislative Council Constitutional Affairs Panel:
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: We have observed very closely reactions in the community to our amendment bill regarding the replacement mechanism for vacancies arising in the Legislative Council. We do believe that the legal advice which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has sought will stand. There is a strong case for this loophole to be plugged so that serving Legislative Councillors cannot resign at will.
We have ensured that our proposals are consistent with Article 68 of the Basic Law in that we will be using the results of the general election starting from September 2012 to institute a replacement mechanism for Legislative Councillors who resign or in other circumstances where vacancies arise.
Furthermore, this set of proposals is consistent with Article 26 of the Basic Law whereby permanent residents of the HKSAR can vote and can stand for election.
Finally, under Annex II of the Basic Law, it is for the HKSAR to enact local legislation to implement provisions whereby we form the Legislative Council and therefore it is for the HKSAR Government to propose a bill and for the legislature to decide on whether or not to support and to enact such a bill.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, June 18, 2011
SCMA speaks to the media (2)