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LCQ13: Model for implementing universal suffrage

Following is a question by Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 18):


It was reported that while speaking on the issue of universal suffrage at a meeting with senior representatives of the media on the 21st of last month, the Chief Executive (CE) said, "I would like to tell Emily Lau and the likes of her that what (the models for universal suffrage) they demand can only be found in heaven indeed". He also described the proposals for universal suffrage consolidating the views of various sectors as "雜種" (i.e. "half-breed"). In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

(a) of the proposals referred to as "雜種" by CE, and whether he will withdraw the use of the term "雜種", which is both insulting and racially discriminatory;

(b) of the reasons for CE to comment that the models for universal suffrage demanded by Emily Lau and the likes of her (i.e. the electoral models completely in line with the principle of universal and equal suffrage) can only be found in heaven indeed; and

(c) given that CE had openly ruled out the electoral models which are completely in line with the principle of universal and equal suffrage, whether this indicates that the green paper on constitutional development to be published by the authorities in the middle of this year will not contain any proposal for the true implementation of universal suffrage?


Madam President,

The HKSAR Government is firmly committed to achieving the ultimate aim of universal suffrage in accordance with the Basic Law. The CE has undertaken to publish a green paper on constitutional development in mid-2007, after the third term HKSAR Government has been formed in July.

We will set out in the green paper different views put forth by the Commission on Strategic Development and the community on the options, roadmap and timetable for implementing universal suffrage. In order to facilitate public discussion, we will summarise the relevant views and present three types of options in the green paper. At this stage, the HKSAR Government has not drawn any conclusions on the model for implementing universal suffrage, and has not rejected any proposal. All proposals received from political parties, different organisations and individuals will be covered by the green paper.

To attain universal suffrage, the community must achieve consensus on the specific model for implementing universal suffrage. The method for implementing universal suffrage should be consistent with the Basic Law, and should not require any amendments to the main provisions of the Basic Law. We also hope that it will attract majority support among Hong Kong people, and will stand a reasonable chance of securing two-thirds majority in Legislative Council (LegCo) and stand a good chance of being considered seriously by the Central Authorities.

We will consult the public widely on the green paper and will listen to the views of LegCo Members, individuals from different sectors and strata, as well as district personalities. Following the end of the three-month public consultation period, we will summarise the views of the community and assess whether there is a foundation for us to come up with a set of mainstream views for taking forward the work to the next phase. To form a mainstream view within the community, different political parties, organisations and individuals must build on common ground and accommodate mutual differences, and must be willing to consider the proposals of other people seriously with an open mind, so as to secure consensus for implementing universal suffrage in Hong Kong. We will submit a report to the Central Authorities reflecting faithfully any mainstream views formed and other views expressed.

Ends/Wednesday, April 18, 2007