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Government's response to conference on democratic development held by Taiwan organisation and local organisation today

In response to the conference on democratic development held by a Taiwan organisation and a local organisation today (December 31), a spokesman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau said that Hong Kong's elections had a fine tradition of being open, fair and just, and that Hong Kong also had an independent judiciary which respected clean elections.

He said, "The constitutional development of the HKSAR must be grounded in Hong Kong under the principle of 'One Country, Two Systems', and should not depart from the framework of the Basic Law and our actual situation. Hong Kong society cherishes very much our clean electoral system. Hong Kong society cannot, and will not, accept 'black gold' politics.

"Constitutional development concerns the affairs of the HKSAR under 'One Country, Two Systems', and is a matter for the Central Authorities and the HKSAR to deal with in accordance with the Basic Law; those in Taiwan have no role in this."

The spokesman said, "We must develop, in accordance with the Basic Law, an electoral system which suits Hong Kong and which enables us to move gradually towards the ultimate aim of universal suffrage. This is the principle which politicians in Hong Kong should uphold.

"The Central Authorities and the HKSAR are firmly committed to promoting democratic development in accordance with the Basic Law.

"The HKSAR Government is now actively exploring possible models for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council through discussion at the Commission on Strategic Development, members of which are drawn from a broad cross section of the community."

Ends/Sunday, December 31, 2006