Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, in the Legislative Council today (May 13):
It has been reported that the Central People's Government (CPG) plans to draft the Method for the Appointment of Chief Executives of Special Administrative Regions (the Appointment Method) within this year to regulate the appointment of the Chief Executives (CEs) of both the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions. Some members of the public are worried that the purpose of CPG formulating the Appointment Method is to impose new requirements on the eligibility for the office of CE beyond those in the Basic Law. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it has approached CPG to gain an understanding on the drafting of the Appointment Method; if it has, of the details, including the purposes of formulating the Appointment Method as well as the effects expected to be achieved by, and the specifics of, the Appointment Method;
(2) whether it has conducted any assessment on the possible impact of CPG's formulation of the Appointment Method on the selection procedures for CE, including (i) whether the inclusion of the new requirements on the eligibility for the office of CE in the Appointment Method will contravene local legislation, (ii) whether manipulation of the selection procedures for CE will be resulted, (iii) whether an unlevel playing field for the election of CE will be created, and (iv) whether corresponding amendments to local legislation are required; if it has not conducted such an assessment, of the reasons for that; and
(3) whether the authorities will truly reflect to CPG the worries of Hong Kong people about CPG's formulation of the Appointment Method and urge CPG to respect the policy of "one country, two systems" and the principles of "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong" and "a high degree of autonomy" by avoiding taking any moves that may possibly violate such policy and principles; if they will not, of the reasons for that?
According to our understanding, the question raised by the Hon Frederick Fung is based on a rumour published by a local newspaper on a certain day that had not been confirmed by any official source. The HKSAR Government is not aware of any such plan, and therefore it is inappropriate for us to comment on the rumour in a vacuum.
According to the stipulations of the Basic Law, the Chief Executive shall, after election held in the HKSAR, be appointed by the Central People's Government. The HKSAR Government has released the proposals for the method for selecting the Chief Executive by universal suffrage on April 22, 2015 in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant interpretation and decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The HKSAR Government will strive to secure the endorsement of the proposals by the Legislative Council, so that 5 million eligible voters of Hong Kong could select the Chief Executive by universal suffrage through "one person, one vote" in 2017.
Ends/Wednesday, May 13, 2015