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SCMA answers media questions on constitutional reform

     Following is the transcript of the answers by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, to media questions after attending the dinner hosted by the Chief Secretary for Administration for Legislative Councillors at her residence this evening (January 6):

Reporter: Mr Tam, what were the main differences as mentioned by the legislators? Are these going to make things a bit difficult to proceed? And what do you think of Gary Fan leaving the dinner?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I think the legislators who attended the dinner tonight have had a very candid and direct discussion about the common goal of achieving universal suffrage in 2017. At the same time and because of that, they have also expressed very candidly their concerns and worries to achieve that objective together. Some have expressed that if any proposal were to contain any kind of screening, they would find it quite difficult to endorse such a proposal. Some have expressed that the space for adjusting their position may become more and more narrow because of the prevailing sentiment in society, especially as they are being pressurised by some pressure groups at the moment. Some, at the same time, have expressed that any proposal which does not have regard to the worries and principal stance of the Central Government would not be realistic as well. Therefore, I think while tonight's discussion was candid and direct and in our views was a very good start, it is still quite a long way before we can achieve any consensus which would enable us to have at least two-thirds majority (support) in the Legislative Council. Having said that, it's still quite early at the moment and I think by exerting collective effort together, we may still have a chance to achieve that.

Reporter:...(Gary Fan)?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I think it's his personal choice. I think he would be the one who should explain why he has to leave earlier.

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

Ends/Monday, January 6, 2014