Press Releases

SCA: We will carefully consider all views on the issue of the tenure of the new CE

Following is the transcript (English portion) of a standup briefing given by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after he attended a student flag-raising ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law this morning (April 3):

SCA: In the last few days, the Chief Secretary for Administration, the Secretary for Justice and myself have met with different groups of Legislative Council Members. On the whole, they put to us two types of proposals. The members of the pan-democratic camp have suggested that we should consider the possibility of amending the Basic Law to stipulate that the new Chief Executive to be elected should only serve the remainder of the term. But this proposition is in fact unsubstantiated. The original legislative intent of the Basic Law is now clear. The new Chief Executive elected should only serve the remainder of the term and therefore there is no case for amending the Basic Law. It is also not appropriate for us to wait until March next year when the next National People's Congress meets to deal with this particular issue. The election of the new Chief Executive has to take place on July 10. We must ensure that the new Chief Executive is elected on time and within the parameters of the law.

Other groups of Members of the Legislative Council have suggested that we should consider the possibility of seeking an interpretation of the Basic Law from the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. They are concerned that the possibility of judicial review may stifle the smooth election of a new Chief Executive on July 10. We will consider very carefully all views which we have received in the last few days and deal with the matter in a manner which is comprehensive and which fits the situation.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Sunday, April 3, 2005