In response to the statement on the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2012 made by the Hong Kong Bar Association today (February 18), a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said:
"The Administration notes the statement made by the Hong Kong Bar Association on the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2012 and will examine it carefully. The Administration reiterates that among the 31,120 written submissions received by the Administration during the public consultation on the arrangement for filling vacancies in the Legislative Council, the majority (around 70 per cent) express the view that the phenomenon of Members resigning at will, triggering by-elections in which they seek to stand and involving a considerable amount of public funds, is a mischief that needs to be addressed. The opinion polls conducted by different universities, media, organisations and political parties also indicate that over or close to 50 per cent of the respondents consider that the Government needs to plug the loophole.
"The Administration's latest proposal addresses the views of the public. We have sought legal advice on the legislative proposal from the Department of Justice and Lord Pannick QC and the Administration is satisfied that the proposal is constitutional.
"The Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2012 has been introduced into the Legislative Council. A bills committee has been formed and will convene its first meeting on February 21, 2012. The Administration will discuss the Bill in detail with the Bills Committee."
Ends/Saturday, February 18, 2012