HK's proposed election plan marks democratic development: senior legislator

19:32, April 14, 2010      

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The proposal for the election of the chief executive and the Legislative Council in 2012 announced by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Wednesday was a significant step toward expanding "democratic elements," a senior national legislator said.

Qiao Xiaoyang, deputy secretary-general of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC), said at a press conference Wednesday, "The revised plan is in line with the Basic Law of the HKSAR and relevant decisions made by the NPC Standing Committee.

"The plan also reflects the principle of developing democracy according to Hong Kong's actual situation and in an orderly and gradual way," he said.

Expanding the election committee of the chief executive from 800 to 1,200 people was the core of the proposed plan announced by the HKSAR government, said Qiao.

The plan also proposed to expand the 60-seat Legislative Council to 70 members, adding five seats each in elected geographical constituencies and functional constituencies.

"The proposed plan by the HKSAR government made a big stride toward expanding democratic elements," he said.

"It's not hard to revise the election plan for the chief executive and the Legislative Council. It is hard to put forward a plan that is in line with the the Basic Law and relevant decisions made by the NPC Standing Committee, and addresses the interests and demands of all levels and circles in Hong Kong's pluralistic society," he said.

"It's not easy to work out a plan that might not be totally satisfactory, but acceptable to all," he said.

"I think the SAR's revised plan has done well in this regard," he said.

The hard-won plan was worthy to be cherished by Hong Kong society, he said.

The HKSAR's Legislative Council would soon deliberate the proposed plan, said Qiao.

He hoped all circles from Hong Kong and lawmakers would support the plan in a bid to push forward democratic development of HKSAR's political system and create conditions for universal suffrage according to the timetable set by the NPC Standing Committee.

The NPC Standing Committee made a decision in 2007 on the constitutional development of HKSAR, which says that the election of the fifth HKSAR Chief Executive in 2017 may be implemented by the method of universal suffrage.

The decision also says that after the chief executive is selected by universal suffrage, the election of HKSAR Legislative Council may be implemented by the method of electing all the members by universal suffrage.

Source: Xinhua


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