Home>News Center>China

HK unveils constitutional development
By Tonny Chan and Cecilia Lo (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-20 05:32

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region's Election Committee, which will pick the chief executive in 2007, would double in size and the Legislative Council (LegCo) would add 10 members in 2008 under the government blueprint unveiled yesterday.

For the proposal to be implemented, it must pass the LegCo, currently 60 members, by a two-thirds majority before it may apply to the central government in Beijing to amend the relevant appendices of the SAR's Basic Law.

The blueprint proposes that the number of Election Committee members be doubled to 1,600 including all 529 District Council members and more representatives from other sectors.

It also suggests the membership of the LegCo be increased to 70, with geographical direct elections filling five new seats and district councillors filling the other five.

Introducing the proposal in the LegCo and later at a press conference, Chief Secretary for Administration Rafael Hui conceded the administration had not yet secured enough votes in the LegCo to ensure passage.

Hui said the proposal in the Fifth Report of the Constitutional Development Task Force was the best they could have arrived at, and he warned of the risk of facing no constitutional progress at all should the LegCo reject it.

"The main thrust of the proposed package is the enhanced level of participation of District Council members in the Election Committee and the LegCo," Hui told the lawmakers.

"Half of the newly added members of the Election Committee and all the newly added LegCo seats will basically be directly or indirectly elected by more than 3 million voters in Hong Kong through geographical constituencies," Hui said.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Hong Kong was already in the defining moment for constitutional development, and he called on lawmakers critical of the blueprint not to allow their sectarian interests to hinder the SAR's constitutional progress.

Li Gang, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the SAR, said the government's proposals in the report will be accepted by both the central government and Hong Kong people.

Ma Lik, chairman of Democratic Alliance for Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said they supported the government's option because they had put forth similar proposals.

Michael Sim, 33, a technician from the northern district said: "One cannot be too pushy and rush things. I am happy that more voices could be heard in the electorate."

Leung Jark-cheung, 26, an insurance marketing officer from Island West, said: "Changes in the constitution should proceed steadily. To the average citizen like me, stability is most important."

(China Daily 10/20/2005 page2)

Shenzhou VI re-entry capsule opened in Beijing
Rumsfeld in Beijing
Wedding gown show
  Today's Top News     Top China News

Premier: GDP to exceed US$1.85 trillion in 2005



China's defence spending 'not a lot'



2,600 birds dead of bird flu in China



Olympic commitment held aloft in space



Saddam pleads innocent, gets into scuffle



Aiming for moon? You can get a piece of it


  Wen: 2006-10 plan 'active and prudent'
  Internet 'baby sale' sparks investigation
  Bid to build democracy comes to fruition
  China's defence spending 'not a lot'
  HK unveils constitutional development
  Toy container explosion kills eight
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008