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CE speaks to the media after the public rally (2)

Reporter: Will you delay or modify the constitutional proposal you put to the legislature...íH

Chief Executive: The proposal is a result of a prolonged consultation in Hong Kong. The people who took part in this rally mostly want advancement of democracy in Hong Kong. They want the road map. They want the timetable for achieving universal suffrage. The important thing is I am pursuing the road map and the timetable in the Commission on Strategic Development. And the important thing is the proposal outlined in the Report No.5 of the Taskforce gives us an advancement, a step forward towards universal suffrage. Let's work on it. Let's achieve it. Let's deliver it. And then we work on the ultimate goal.

Reporter: So you do want to go ahead without changes...íH

Chief Executive: The present timetable remains unchanged. We have discussed this for long. We have come to a decision on this. Meanwhile, I am listening to people's voice. There is little scope for me to change. But within the little scope that I have, I will see what I can do to perfect the package. But it will be on limited scale, and it will not affect the timetable or resolution of this matter in the Legislative Council, nor will it in itself produce quickly a timetable. That is not achievable.

Reporter: Mr Tsang, why won't the authority...íH

Chief Executive: We have discussed this already. The important thing is we have to implement the first stage, which would lead us nearer to universal suffrage. The discussion of a road map and a timetable will be pursued actively in the Commission on Strategic Development, in that I have also set up a timetable for discussion and bring it to finality.

Reporter: (inaudible)

Chief Executive: I have worked exceedingly hard to secure the support of each and individual legislators in this. I'm not going to spare. But I believed what people want is an advancement in democracy. And the proposal included in the Report No. 5 represents a step forward in that direction.

Reporter: ...a delay in the vote... (Inaudible)

Chief Executive: The vote has been put to the Legislative Council. We are working within a very tight timetable. There are also following consequential changes we have to make to the domestic legislation. We have decided to put this before the Legislative Council on the 21st of this month. And this will take place as planned.

Reporter: Will you go up to Beijing to convey the feeling of these demonstrators to the Chinese Government and try to press forth the need to agree soon to probably a timetable?

Chief Executive: Let me assure you what is happening in Hong Kong today are widely reported in our media. I will certainly make a report in due course. Our leaders in Beijing are fully aware of what is happening in Hong Kong. As I said they shared Hong Kong's feelings. They are not against democracy, as such. In fact universal suffrage is enshrined in our Basic Law. We are pursuing this actively and in an orderly fashion. What we have proposed in the Report No.5 of Constitutional Development Taskforce represents a step forward. And I'm also pursuing a road map and a timetable in the Commission on Strategic Development.

Reporter: Today the 250,000 people in the street are very orderly and peaceful... progress does not move to the satisfaction to them, do you not have concern this could escalate?

Chief Executive: The most important thing: do not look at the turnout figure, as I said, the turnout figure will be determined by statistician, the independent one will be looking at this. The important thing is, as I said, each of them represents a passion and ideal and a shared affection for Hong Kong. I for one will certainly listen to them. I have listened to them. I shared their feeling. And I'm pursuing their goals in two prones. First of all, I am pushing forward towards universal suffrage through the implementation of Report No. 5. I am also pursuing the question of road map and the question of timetable in the Commission on Strategic Development. I am also trying to perfect what I can do within the scope remaining in the package to ensure that what we are going to put to the Legislative Council on the 21st for the best one available and feasible for the time being.

Reporter: Are you concerned that this action could escalate because of what happened?

Chief Executive: Hong Kong people are rational people. They love Hong Kong. So do I. I am sure that they want to achieve the best result. And this is what I am going to get.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)

Ends/Sunday, December 4, 2005
Issued at HKT 23:55


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