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LegCo 'no' to motion on Tung report
(China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-05-06 10:03

The Legislative Council (LegCo) yesterday vetoed a motion by "pro-democracy" legislators requesting Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to submit a supplementary report to the country's top legislature on Hong Kong's political reform.

LegCo vetoed the motion, with 22 for and 33 against, after a nearly four-hour debate.

Legislator Frederick Fung, who moved the motion, said Tung's report was not acceptable as he outlined nine key principles in it to erect hurdles to the city's constitutional development.

He urged the chief executive to consult the public again on the matter and submit another report.

Margaret Ng echoed that Tung's report merely reflects his own views, not public opinion.

The Frontier's Emily Lau criticized the nine principles as attempts to protect the interests of a small group of people.

In response, Chief Secretary Donald Tsang said that the government could not accept unreasonable criticism although he understood the disappointment of the "pro-democracy" camp on the NPCSC ruling, which ruled out universal suffrage in 2007/2008.

He said the NPCSC decision has set in motion Hong Kong's political development and created room for election methods to become more open and democratic in 2007 and 2008.

Tsang noted that democracy is Hong Kong people's common wish, but they long for prosperity and stability at the same time.

"We must recognize that relentless conflict and discord is by no means the wish of Hong Kong citizens," he said.

"Our citizens call upon the government, the legislature, concerned groups and individuals to join hands in exploring and discussing how we could promote constitutional development while maintaining the harmony, stability and prosperity of society."

Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung said at the motion debate that the nine key factors were legally based on the Basic Law and the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

The central authorities' concern over Hong Kong's constitutional development arises from their rights and obligations under the constitutional order, she noted.

The Liberal Party's Howard Young, who was against Fung's motion, urged the legislators not to waste time on endless quarrels. "You cannot reject Tung's report and the nine key factors simply because you dislike them," he said.

David Chu of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance said the lack of mutual trust between Hong Kong and the central government has hampered the city's political reform process.

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