|SCA on Chief Executive Election
Following is the transcript (English section) of the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, speaking to the media at the polling station for the Chief Executive Election at AsiaWorld-Expo today (March 25):
Secretary for Constitutional Affairs: The election of the third-term Chief Executive (CE) is very important to Hong Kong. We have seen in the past few weeks how much emphasis both candidates have placed on communicating with members of the Election Committee (EC), different sectors of the community, and individual Hong Kong citizens. It is important to Hong Kong that we elect the third-term CE according to the Basic Law and our election legislation. The election of the third-term CE will determine how Hong Kong will progress in the next five years. It will affect Hong Kong's economic restructuring. It will also set the direction for our political and constitutional development henceforth. So far as the implementation of universal suffrage is concerned, we have already undertaken discussions on different models for implementing universal suffrage for the Legislative Council (LegCo) and for the CE in the last one-and-a-half year through the discussion in the Commission on Strategic Development.
Hong Kong has already had elections to the LegCo for something like 22 years. Hong Kong has also returned to being a part of China for the last 10 years. It is now high time for us to work together and get a set of solutions on how we can implement universal suffrage according to the Basic Law.
We will issue a report by the middle of this year and we will conduct public consultation on how to implement universal suffrage both for the LegCo and for the CE. We will have a few months of public discussion and thereafter we will summarise the views of Hong Kong people. We will reflect those views very faithfully to the Central Government in the hope that we can make progress in the next five years.
Aside from this important mission, we will also be implementing other proposals such as expanding the system of political appointment, for example, creating new positions of Deputy Directors of Bureau and Political Assistants to Director of Bureau. This will broaden the scope of political participation in Hong Kong. It will also enable the Government to strengthen links with political parties, different sectors of the community and broaden the scope for political talents to take part in elections and in working in the Hong Kong Government.
So we very much hope that all members of the EC will make use of today's opportunity and help select the third-term CE for Hong Kong.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion.)
Ends/Sunday, March 25, 2007