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Transcript of remarks by CS on constitutional reform

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after attending the special meeting of the Panel on Constitutional Affairs in the Legislative Council today (December 9):

Reporter: Mrs Lam, you indicated that, you used the word, I think, "home stretch", that we are headed down a home stretch. Other people say we're heading down a garden path and ... Molotov cocktail throwing. Do you think, at the end of the day, this exercise is going to persuade the people such that you can actually move ahead, because, if we don't, there are risks?

Chief Secretary for Administration: Well, as we have said in our government publicity materials, I think in this exercise the objective is absolutely clear. We all want to achieve universal suffrage in 2017, and I think this is a common aspiration of the Central Authorities, of the Hong Kong SAR Government and of community at large. It is really for us to work together to achieve that objective. Of course, as I said at the beginning of this session, the 70 members of the Legislative Council are going to play a major decisive role in this exercise, because, according to our "five-step process", they have to approve, by a two-thirds majority, whatever proposal that the Hong Kong SAR Government is going to put to the Legislative Council. So, with a very clear objective and with the common aspiration shared by all, I and my colleagues, I think we remain very optimistic that through this first-stage consultation and a very sincere attitude to engage with the public, that we would be able to achieve that ultimate objective.

Reporter: But hearing what's been said, Chief Secretary, where does the source of optimism arise from?

Chief Secretary for Administration: I do feel that there is still room, and considerable room, for us to discuss with the pan-democratic members in the Legislative Council. But we mustn't forget that, at the end of the day, it is not just a matter of us convincing the pan-democratic members in the Legislative Council, because we have 40-plus other members who also have a pretty strong view on this important topic, which we have heard this morning. So it is really trying to bridge the gap and bring two parties together in order to achieve this ultimate goal of universal suffrage in the selection of the Chief Executive.

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

Ends/Monday, December 9, 2013
Issued at HKT 17:16


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