HK Chief Executive expects majority support for 2012 electoral methods package

21:17, April 14, 2010      

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Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Donald Tsang said Wednesday the 2012 electoral methods package reflects mainstream public opinion and will enjoy majority support.

A package of proposals on the methods of selecting the Chief Executive (CE) and on forming the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2012 was announced by the HKSAR government earlier Wednesday and illustrated by Chief Secretary Henry Tang at the LegCo meeting.

The package suggests that the number of the Election Committee for selecting the CE be increased from 800 to 1,200, and the number of LegCo seats be raised from 60 to 70.

"This package is based firmly on the Basic Law and the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. And we have taken full account of the views and suggestions expressed during the consultation period," said Tsang.

A three-month public consultation has been conducted from Nov. 18, 2009, to widely collect opinions from different political groups as well as social communities and individuals.

"Compared with the existing election arrangements, this package opens new doors for political participation, enhances the democratic elements of our system, and creates favorable conditions to achieve universal suffrage," said Tsang.

Tsang pointed out that Hong Kong is at a critical stage for its constitutional development. "Hong Kong is undoubtedly a pluralistic society. It is not easy to reach a consensus on such an important issue as political reform. But ... we share the same objective, and that is to move forward our political system and to achieve our goal of universal suffrage."

He firmly believed that Hong Kong would like to "see progress" and "focus on common ground rather than cling to our own views".

He was glad to see that people with different political affiliations and different views on democratic development have been taking a pragmatic and moderate stance, and have pursued rational dialogue.

"This is a very good start and I encourage them all to continue these efforts, to promote rational dialogue, to build mutual trust, to adopt a pragmatic approach and to persevere in accommodating different views, until we have finally ushered in universal suffrage," he said.

In 2007, the NPCSC made clear that universal suffrage in HKSAR may be implemented for electing the CE in 2012 and for all the members of the LegCo afterwards.

"What we need now is a consensus on this reform package and to secure its passage in the Legislative Council. Then we shall have a solid foundation for implementing universal suffrage," said Tsang.

The package is expected to be put to vote before the LegCo recess starting mid-July this year.

Source: Xinhua


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