|NPCSC Decision sets direction and timetable for universal suffrage
In response to the remarks made by Legislative Councillor Albert Ho on RTHK's "Letter to Hong Kong" broadcast this morning (February 3), a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said that the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) had set the direction and a clear timetable for attaining universal suffrage.
The spokesman said that the NPCSC Decision had constitutional status and had addressed the wishes of the community and the people of Hong Kong.
The spokesman pointed out, "Now that the universal suffrage timetable has been set, we believe that this will motivate different political parties and independent members in the Legislative Council (LegCo), as well as different sectors within the community to work together with the HKSAR Government towards securing consensus for implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive (CE) in 2017 and for LegCo in 2020."
He emphasised that the HKSAR Government had not formed any views on the ultimate models for implementing universal suffrage for the CE and LegCo.
"On questions regarding the formation of the nominating committee, what the democratic procedures for nomination would entail in attaining universal suffrage for the CE and how functional constituencies should be dealt with in implementing universal suffrage for LegCo, there would be ample room and time for the HKSAR to discuss these issues.
"We have already made it clear in the 'Report on Public Consultation on Green Paper on Constitutional Development' that any universal suffrage model should comply with the principles of universal and equal suffrage," he said.
The spokesman said that the HKSAR Government's aim was to settle the two electoral methods for 2012 within the tenure of the third-term HKSAR Government. This would allow the electoral system to be further democratised, with a view to paving the way for attaining universal suffrage for the CE and the LegCo respectively in 2017 and 2020.
The spokesman added that after the Lunar New Year, a task group on constitutional development would be set up under the Commission on Strategic Development to commence discussions on the two electoral methods for 2012.
"All political parties and groups, as well as different quarters of our community should keep an open mind and be accommodating. It is only through rational and pragmatic public discourse that we can forge consensus on the constitutional development of Hong Kong," he said.
Ends/Sunday, February 3, 2008