Following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, this morning (June 22) to the media after attending the meeting of Bills Committee on Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2011:
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: In dealing with the issue of voluntary resignations by Legislative Councillors, the HKSAR Government has been very thorough and also very serious in addressing the issue. We have sought legal advice - we believe that the bill which we have put forth now is consistent with the Basic Law. We also believe that the formula of allowing the candidates with the largest remaining number of votes to act as potential replacements for vacancies which arise in future will be able to plug the loophole. This will be consistent with the overall public interest of Hong Kong and this will also enable the Legislative Council to continue to function smoothly and properly in future.
Last year, five Legislative Councillors representing two political parties left the Council mid-term. Today a number of Legislative Councillors left the Bills Committee meeting midway. On both occasions, they have not fulfilled the expectations of the public - in that Legislative Councillors should represent their districts or their sectors to present views in the Legislative Council and to scrutinise the amendment bill which we have put forth.
On the part of Government, we are fully ready to listen to the views from all sides and we have done so in recent weeks. We will continue to explain fully to the Legislative Council the proposals and the amendments which we are putting forth.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, June 22, 2011