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Press Releases

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Government response to media enquiries

In response to media enquiries regarding the remarks made by Mrs Anson Chan in a radio programme broadcast today (June 30), a spokesman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau said the following:

"Both the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government have always been fully alive to the community's aspirations on universal suffrage. The ultimate aim of attaining universal suffrage is also recognised by all parties concerned.

Before the Government's proposed package for the electoral methods for 2007/08 was put to vote at the Legislative Council (LegCo) last year, different opinion polls had shown that about 60% of the population supported the package. Thirty-four LegCo Members voted for the package, 24 against; hence, it fell short of the requisite two-thirds majority.

The Government's package proposed to allow more than 500 District Council members to participate in the Chief Executive election in 2007 and the LegCo election in 2008; among them, 400 are returned through direct elections. The proposed package indeed would have enhanced the democratic element in the two electoral methods and would have been a substantive step towards democracy.

Last year, the Government had made it clear on different occasions that there was no conflict between supporting the proposed package for the electoral methods for 2007/08 and pursuing universal suffrage. Rather, they complemented each other.

Both the Central Authorities and the HKSAR Government continue to be fully committed to promoting constitutional development in accordance with the Basic Law, with a view to achieving the ultimate aim of universal suffrage.

Through discussions in the Commission on Strategic Development, the Government has been actively exploring possible models for implementing universal suffrage for selecting the CE and the LegCo, and hopes to conclude discussions by early 2007.

The Government will make public the Commission's report and reflect the conclusions to the Central Authorities."

Ends/Friday, June 30, 2006