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Donald Tsang urges support for HK democracy
Updated: 2005-11-13 15:08

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Saturday that he hoped councilors could put aside prejudice and make the most favorable decision on democracy in accordance with the Basic Law and the decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) hands new Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang his letter of appointment during a swearing-in ceremony in Beijing's Great Hall of the People June 24, 2005. [Reuters]
"As for Hong Kong's democratic progress, I think nothing could be more unfortunate to remain in the original place without progress," Tsang said at a Hong Kong's local radio program.

"I hope every councilor could consider carefully if his decision is a help or more of a hindrance to Hong Kong's democracy," he added.

Tsang said the proposal by the government has done its best to include the elements of geographical constituencies in the methods for selecting the Chief Executive in 2007 and for forming the Legislative Council in 2008.

On the method for selecting the Chief Executive in 2007, the Task Force suggested to increase the number of members of the Election Committee from the present 800 to 1,600, representing a big step toward universal suffrage, Tsang said.

On the method for forming LegCo in 2008, the Task Force suggested that the number of LegCo seats will be increased from 60 to 70, representing a broader electorate, he said.

Half of the newly added members of the Election Committee and all the newly added LegCo seats would basically be directly or indirectly elected by over 3 million voters in Hong Kong through geographical constituencies, which means a greater participation of Hong Kong citizens, Tsang added.

While talking about the roadmap and timetable for the universal suffrage, Tsang said it is of great importance to the future of the society, so it should be discussed thoroughly.

He reiterated that the Hong Kong government has sincerity in pushing forward the democratic development.

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