|Government's response to procession
In response to the public procession today (July 1), a Government spokesman said the following:
"The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has collected different views expressed by different groups and individuals in the community during the five-month public consultation on constitutional development. We are consolidating and analysing the views received during the consultation period, as well as compiling the consultation report, with a view to assisting the Chief Executive (CE) to submit a report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) to kick-start the 'Five-step Process' of constitutional development. We will faithfully reflect the views received during the consultation period in the consultation report.
"The HKSAR Government has repeatedly stated that proposals on political development should be, legally, strictly in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the NPCSC; politically, the proposals should stand a reasonable chance of gaining the support of the community and securing passage by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Legislative Council; and operationally, the proposals should be practical and practicable.
"Regarding the 'civic nomination' proposal advocated by some groups and individuals, the HKSAR Government has repeatedly pointed out that according to Article 45 of the Basic Law, the power to nominate CE candidates is vested in the Nominating Committee (NC) only. We also note that there are many opinions in the community, including those from legal professional groups and individuals, that 'civic nomination' will bypass or undermine the substantive powers of the NC to nominate candidates and hence is, legally, highly controversial. Politically, such a proposal will unlikely be conducive to forging consensus, and operationally, the feasibility of implementation is questionable. In view of the controversies of such a proposal in the legal, political and operational aspects, the HKSAR Government believes that it is unlikely that such a proposal will be adopted.
"The HKSAR Government appeals to the community to forge consensus in a rational and pragmatic manner and on the basis of the Basic Law and relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the NPCSC; and in discussing specific proposals, pay due regard to the legal, political and operational aspects. It is the common aspiration of the HKSAR Government and the people of Hong Kong to successfully implement universal suffrage for the CE election in 2017 as scheduled and in accordance with the law, so that more than five million eligible voters could elect the next CE through 'one person, one vote' in 2017.
"The HKSAR Government respects residents' freedom and right of expression and has always encouraged the public to express their views via legal channels and in a peaceful manner. We also expect individuals holding different views will respect each other when expressing their opinions. In case of any contravention of the law and breach of public order, law enforcement agencies will handle such a situation strictly in accordance with the law to ensure that law and order and public peace are maintained in Hong Kong.
"The Government is aware that a host of other public aspirations are expressed in today's procession and will continue its endeavour to tackle various problems including those related to economic development, housing, poverty, ageing society and the environment."
Ends/Tuesday, July 1, 2014