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SCA: Our mission is to ensure smooth, fair CE election on July 10

Following is the transcript (English portion) of a standup briefing given by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending a meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Constitutional Affairs this afternoon (March 21):

Reporter: .. just wondering about the pressing demand from the legislators about any emergency plan for July 10 if the election fell through. So why didn't you come up with any such plan?

SCA: As I explained during the Constitutional Affairs Panel meeting, the current term of the Election Committee will expire on July 13. This is a situation which we have acquired from the original design of the Basic Law, because the Election Committee was formed back in mid-2000 and its five-year term therefore expires on July 13, 2005.

Our current mission is to do everything possible to ensure that we have a smooth and fair election conducted in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong on July 10. We are confident that we should be able to do so. And with that in mind, we focus our energies on that particular mission.

Reporter: Mr Henry Tang said that he was not running for the election. Does it help clear up any uncertainties surrounding the election?

SCA: The election arrangements have just begun. The Electoral Affairs Commission and the Registration and Electoral Office have started its work in preparing the ground for the by-elections to the Election Committee to be arranged. In the meantime, whoever is interested in running in this election and whoever can acquire the requisite number of nominations are free and welcome to take part in the election.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, March 21, 2005