|SCA speaks after workshop on possible models for implementing universal suffrage for CE
Following is the transcript of a media briefing given by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending the workshop organised by the Committee on Governance and Political Development of the Commission on Strategic Development this afternoon (October 3) (English portion):
Secretary for Constitutional Affairs: Today we had a workshop about the models for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive. Last month, in September, we also had one workshop on this particular subject. Today I can say that we are beginning to narrow our differences in terms of political views regarding implementation of universal suffrage for the Chief Executive.
Firstly, previously, various models proposed would encompass a Nominating Committee comprising, say, 60 members to 5,000 members. But today, those who put forward suggestions for forming a Nominating Committee basically range from 60 members of the Legislative Council to 1,600 members of a Nominating Committee.
Secondly, as regards the threshold for securing a nomination, basically most of the proponents would put forward a threshold of one-eighth to one quarter of the Nominating Committee. Of course, there was one suggestion that we should use the Legislative Council as the Nominating Committee, and under that proposal, the suggestion is that we should have five Legislative Councilors to be the quorum for nominating a candidate to be selected as Chief Executive.
Finally, there are quite a lot of opinions around the table in support of gradual and orderly progress for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive. There are suggestions that if we adopt a relatively higher threshold, for nominations in the first instance, say, one-eighth or one quarter, we can consider in the years ahead of gradually reducing this threshold to a lower level.
So I think that for now, it is useful progress that we have made. So far we have made some progress in narrowing political differences in terms of specific proposals for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive.
In the months ahead, we will continue to meet in the Commission on Strategic Development and we will organise more workshops, to bring in ideas from among members of the commission and also from outside think tanks.
Reporter: [For response towards Dr Raymond Wu's passing away.]
Secretary for Constitutional Affairs: Over the years, Dr Wu has done a lot of work in terms of drafting the Basic Law, implementation of the "One Country, Two Systems" and preparations for a smooth handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Many colleagues of various government departments have worked together with him on these different agenda. We very much regret his sudden passing away. We extend our condolences to members of his family.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, October 3, 2006