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LCQ4: Suggestion for setting up bicameral system in legislature

Following is a question by Hon Martin Lee and an oral reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (December 21):


The Constitutional Development Task Force of the Government has pointed out in its Fifth Report that during the consultation on its Fourth Report, the views received on the future of functional constituencies included the suggestions for setting up a "bicameral system" in the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it has assessed if the establishment of a "bicameral system" in the legislature of HKSAR will contravene the Basic Law; if it will, of the rationale for that; if it will not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

Our reply in response to the question raised by Hon Martin Lee is set out below.

The suggestion of setting up a bicameral system in the legislature referred to in the fifth report of the Constitutional Development Task Force reflects opinions which we received during the consultation period of the fourth report. These views consider that the future of functional constituencies should be examined in detail, including the possibility of implementing a bicameral system for our legislature.

The Governance and Political Development Committee set up under the Commission on Strategic Development has already commenced its study on the issue of electing the Chief Executive and forming the Legislative Council (LegCo) by universal suffrage. Issues to be examined include the ultimate model for returning LegCo by universal suffrage.

In deliberating on the issue of electing the LegCo by universal suffrage, we need to examine the electoral model for attaining universal suffrage eventually. We should also study how the LegCo should be formed then. Any amendments to the method for forming the LegCo, including the proposals related to returning the LegCo by universal suffrage in future, will be processed in accordance with the procedures as stipulated in Annex II to the Basic Law and the Interpretation of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in April last year. We will also ensure that the development of the methods for forming the LegCo will comply with Article 68 of the Basic Law, including the ultimate aim of electing all Members by universal suffrage.

Ends/Wednesday, December 21, 2005