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SCMA answers questions at media standup (with photos)

     Following is the transcript of remarks to the media by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, after attending the Central and Western District Council meeting to introduce the "Consultation Document on the Method for Selecting the Chief Executive by Universal Suffrage" this afternoon (March 19):

Reporter: Why is a televised debate not necessary this time, Mr Tam?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I think over the past one or two years, every single issue relating to 2017 universal suffrage for the Chief Executive (CE) Election has been fully debated upon. Secondly, I think if you look at the various opinion polls conducted by universities or polling agents in the society, most of them have demonstrated a very clear, majority (view) of our community that they would rather to have early implementation of universal suffrage for the CE Election in 2017 on the basis of the Basic Law and perhaps even on the basis of the Decision of the National People's Congress Standing Committee. Therefore, in my personal view, another televised debate is not necessary to demonstrate both the arguments and the majority views of the community.

     The issue at hand is that 27 pan-democratic members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) have publicly pledged that regardless of public opinion, they would nevertheless cast their votes against any government proposed resolution in LegCo in the coming few months. No matter how the general public supports, or otherwise, a government proposal, they would cast a negative vote anyway. In that light I don't think any large-scale opinion poll as proposed by Professor (Albert) Chen or any televised debate are sufficient to change their mind. Rather (than) doing this - if I may describe as a gimmick - we should focus on a better compromise and a better political process. But sadly, I would have thought that a very effective political process to be made between the Central People's Government and the pan-democratic members in the past have not achieved any result because of the joint statement issued on the 9th of March. It is a pity but it is a fact of life. What we are doing at the moment is to focus our effort in finishing the (public consultation) report and to draft the resolution and hopefully, we would make an early submission to LegCo next month so that we can kick off the third step of the "Five-step Process".

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

Ends/Thursday, March 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:16


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