|Transcript of SCMA's remarks to reporters
Following is the transcript (English portion) of the remarks of the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in response to media questions after attending RTHK's "Talkabout" today (December 31):
Reporter: What will be the main obstacles and challenges the Government will face in achieving universal suffrage in 2017?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: Now that the Central Authorities have already given Hong Kong a very clear timetable for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive in 2017 and for the Legislative Council in 2020, it is up to the HKSAR Government and political parties in the legislature, including independent members, to shoulder this historic responsibility very seriously and to be able to work on compromise textures to ensure that universal suffrage is implemented on time.
Reporter: What are the differences which are compromising 2012? Does that mean there will be no universal suffrage in 2017?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: The position of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress on the universal suffrage timetable is absolutely clear. It also has a legal basis. It is now up to Hong Kong to determine how we want the electoral systems in 2012 to be moved forward so as to pave the way for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive in 2017 and for the Legislative Council in 2020. I believe now that we have a universal suffrage timetable, even political parties of the opposition camp will have to consider very seriously any packages put forth by the Government. Also, I would emphasise that in the months ahead, we will have opportunities to discuss both within the Commission on Strategic Development and within the Legislative Council ideas for moving forward Hong Kong’s democracy in 2012 and beyond that to universal suffrage. The Government is very sincere and very serious in hoping to work together with all political parties and members of the legislature, different sectors of the community and in listening to the views of the public in moving Hong Kong's democracy forward.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Monday, December 31, 2007