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SCMA answers media questions on constitutional development (with photos)

     The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, and the Under Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Godfrey Leung, attended a constitutional development seminar organised by the Hong Kong Young Industrialists Council to exchange views with participants on the "Consultation Document on the Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2016" this morning (April 15). Following is the transcript of Mr Tam's remarks at a media standup after the seminar:

Reporter: Mr Tam, would you say that "civil recommendation" is not against the Basic Law? Or do you think it's ...?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: According to Article 45 of the Basic Law, there is a requirement that the full and discretionary power is only vested with the nominating committee and nominating committee alone. On the face of it, for the "civil recommendation" proposal as put forward by 18 academics, we think that it is not inconsistent with the Basic Law. However, according to Article 45 (of the Basic Law), any formal nomination would have to be put forward by the nominating committee in the name of the committee. Therefore, this particular step is missing in the particular proposal that you mentioned. This afternoon, since I and the other two members of the Task Force (Task Force on Constitutional Development) are going to have a meeting with some of these academics, we would raise this question and seek further elaboration from them on how they would address this particular point.

Reporter: Will the Administration seek further plans to bridge the differences between the two parties?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: Which two parties?

Reporter: The pan-democrats and the ...

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: It has always been our role to be an advocate for the timely implementation of universal suffrage in 2017 in accordance with the Basic Law. It is also our role to be a facilitator to bring together different stakeholders including the LegCo (Legislative Council) Members, different political parties as well as the Central People's Government. Therefore, you can see that the Shanghai trip is actually part of our facilitating role. We are very happy and we are very pleased to see that actually happened, and the result of which is within our expectation. Therefore, we have time and again emphasised that this is the first step towards bridging differences among all parties. I think from this perspective, it is a very encouraging one. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government would continue to do our best to bridge over differences among all parties. For example like today, I am meeting with the young industrialists, I am meeting with a local organisation, I am meeting with a major commercial organisation, and I am meeting with the academics, etc. All our efforts are focusing on bridging differences all along.

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

Ends/Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:20


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