The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, attended a forum on the Consultation Paper on Arrangements for Filling Vacancies in the Legislative Council organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions tonight (July 26). Following is the transcript (English portion) of Mr Lam's remarks at a media session after the forum:
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I am very pleased that we have been able to come to the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions' forum today. We have taken the opportunity to explain very clearly to our participants tonight about the public consultation document on filling Legislative Council vacancies.
On the whole, I have three observations. Firstly, most of the participants who spoke were clearly in favour of adopting some of the options which we have set out in order to plug the loophole of the problem which arose last year, with legislators resigning mid-term and instigating unnecessary by-elections and conducting a so-called "referendum".
Secondly, the participants who spoke were clearly in favour of either adopting the same candidate list approach or the list with the largest remaining votes to act as replacements for any departing members of the legislature. This is because all these lists have attracted a certain degree of voters' support during the general election, and therefore, there is a clear democratic basis for these mechanisms to be adopted.
Thirdly, there was quite a bit of interest in the proposal - our Option 4 - to first use the same candidate list approach to fill vacancies and if the same candidate list has been exhausted, to hold the seats vacant for the remainder of the Legislative Council term. However, there was a specific suggestion that in order to avoid having too many seats of the Legislative Council left vacant, perhaps we can set a ceiling for these vacancies to remain unfilled, say five or 10. Once the ceiling is reached, then we can conduct a by-election through a proportional representation election to fill these vacancies. So I consider these views very specific and very useful and in the next two months we will conduct more and more of these discussion forums.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, July 26, 2011
SCMA attends HKFTU Forum on Arrangements for Filling Vacancies in the LegCo (1)
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, attended a forum organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions on the Arrangements for Filling Vacancies in the Legislative Council this evening (July 26). The photo shows Mr Lam (third left) at the forum. Also attending the forum was the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (fourth left).
SCMA attends HKFTU Forum on Arrangements for Filling Vacancies in the LegCo (2)
Mr Lam speaks at the forum.