|Government's response to remarks made by Hon Kwok Ka-ki on universal suffrage
Commenting on the remarks made by the Dr Hon Kwok Ka-ki on universal suffrage in his "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast on RTHK today (February 11), a Government spokesman said that both the Central Authorities and the SAR Government were firmly committed to promoting constitutional development in accordance with the Basic Law, with a view to achieving the ultimate aim of universal suffrage.
"The Government is alive to the community’s aspiration for universal suffrage. However, the community must first have sufficient discussions and broad consensus on the models for universal suffrage, in order that a roadmap for universal suffrage may be developed.
"Once there is a roadmap, the timetable for attaining universal suffrage will fall into place naturally," he said.
The spokesman said that the Government was actively exploring, through discussion at the Commission on Strategic Development (the Commission) and the Legislative Council (LegCo), the issue of possible models for implementing universal suffrage for electing the Chief Executive (CE) and LegCo.
"We hope that this could help promote discussion within the community, with a view to narrowing differences and forging broad consensus."
He added that, when amending the methods for selecting the CE and for forming the LegCo in order to take forward Hong Kong’s constitutional development, this must be handled in accordance with the Basic Law and the Interpretation of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of April 2004.
"We must also acknowledge the constitutional fact that under the Basic Law, any change to be made to the electoral systems must have the support of a two-thirds majority of all LegCo Members as well as the endorsement of the CE and the Central Authorities."
The spokesman said that the Commission was now having substantive discussion on possible models for implementing universal suffrage for the CE and LegCo.
"We aim to summarise discussions of the Commission as soon as possible within this year and to produce a report, which will be submitted to the Central Authorities.
"We hope that this can provide a basis for the third term Government to continue to take forward Hong Kong’s further democratization," he said.
Ends/Sunday, February 11, 2007