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Transcript of remarks by CS at media session on constitutional development (with photo/video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session after a media interview today (April 30):

Reporter: Chief Secretary, could you comment in English too, that there has been a lot of confusion over whether this first step would be able to change later? I understand that during the meeting at the Council, you said, when you announced that the political reform and "This is it" and it is up for future CE candidates to see if changes are in need. But Beijing has told the Bar Association recently that this is just the first step and it can be changed, and yesterday even Tung Chee Hwa said that this is just one step and it will need to see what happens in the future. Would you clarify what exactly it is?

Chief Secretary for Administration: What we have said, or what I have said in my statement in Legislative Council last Wednesday, is totally consistent with what you have just described, coming out from CPG officials during the visit by the Bar Association. What I have said is, if we were able to achieve universal suffrage in the selection of the Chief Executive in the year 2017, we will have attained the aim in the Basic Law (Article) 45 as far as universal suffrage in the selection of the Chief Executive is concerned. But of course, the method for selecting the Chief Executive by universal suffrage could be changed in future. The reason behind this argument is because if you look at the Basic Law, the relevant provisions for such changes to be made are still there, specifically I am referring to Article 7 in Annex 1 to the Basic Law, which provides for the arrangements for changes to be made, that is, any changes have to receive two-thirds of the majority support in the Legislative Council, the consent of the Chief Executive and approval by the NPCSC. And secondly is in the 2004 NPCSC interpretation, there are clear provisions for the, what we call the constitutional procedures, that is the so-called "Five-step Process". So both the legal basis and the constitutional procedures are still there, for changes to be made in future, to the method for selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage. That should provide the needed assurance to people who are worried that once they have accepted the current package, that there will be no more opportunity for any refinements to be made. So, the position is clear and consistent.

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

Ends/Thursday, April 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:22


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