Following is the transcript of the remarks by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, at a media session after casting his vote for the 2012 Legislative Council Election at the St Stephen's Girls' Primary School Polling Station this morning (September 9):
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I have just casted my two votes at this polling station, one belonging to geographical constituency, another belonging to functional constituency. In the latter respect, my vote was casted in respect of what is commonly known as the "super DC (District Council) seat". For the coming term Legislative Council (LegCo), it is an important milestone in the development of our political structure, especially in the LegCo Election, because comparing with the past, we have increased the number of seats from 60 to 70. Also, for the 10 additional seats, five are with the geographical constituency and five are with the "super DC seats". In this respect, the democratic level and democratic element has been greatly enhanced. It is a fairer system because every voter can, from now on, have an equal number of votes, that is two votes.
I appeal once again to all eligible voters to cast their votes today. It is my personal hope and personal expectation that the voter turnout rate would be higher than the last term which was 45.2 per cent. I hope that at the end of the election, the result would be higher than last time.
Reporter: Many overseas voters and people who have to go to say, the Mainland to work, complain about not being able to vote in this election. Will the government consider making changes so that they can cast their ballots from outside of Hong Kong?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: That will be something for future review. If any sector of the community would wish the government to review our electoral system, including what you have just mentioned, of course we would very carefully study the issue. In fact, the issue has been raised in the past in the LegCo. But I think what is fundamental is to preserve the right to vote under the Basic Law, and that is a fundamental right of every Hong Kong permanent resident. Our electoral system, whatever changes we may introduce, would have to bear that fundamental principle in mind, and on that, I think in the years ahead, in the coming few years, when we review the system again in preparation for the 2016 LegCo election, if the LegCo or certain sector of the community would like us to study, we would certainly do so.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Sunday, September 9, 2012
SCMA casts vote (1)
The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, casted his vote for the District Council (second) functional constituency of the 2012 Legislative Council Election at the polling station at St Stephen's Girls' Primary School, Park Road this morning (September 9).
SCMA casts vote (2)
Mr Tam casted his vote for the geographical constituency of the 2012 Legislative Council Election at the polling station at St Stephen's Girls' Primary School, Park Road this morning.