HONG KONG, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam delivered Tuesday afternoon a report to lawmakers of the region on the opinions of citizens concerning the 2017 Chief Executive selection and 2016 formation of the Legislative Council (LegCo).
Lam reviewed the work the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) had done during the past several months, including establishing a group in charge of the public consultation, publishing the Consultation Document, listening to views and suggestions from different sectors of the community in an open, inclusive and pragmatic manner, and providing timely information and analysis from different angles.
"The objective of the HKSAR government is to assist the society to discuss in a rational manner so as to forge consensus for attaining the aim of universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election as provided for in the Basic Law as scheduled," Lam said.
Lam said that the outcome of this public consultation indicates that on the whole, the people of Hong Kong adopt a rational and pragmatic attitude towards the discussion of issues related to the methods for selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 and for forming the Legislative Council in 2016.
"Although views remain divergent on certain issues, there is general expectation in the society that there could be further democratization of the electoral systems of the HKSAR, and that the proper handling of the work relating to the method for forming the LegCo in 2016 and the aim of implementing universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election in 2017 as scheduled could be attained in accordance with the Basic Law and relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress," she said.
Lam stressed that the Hong Kong community is generally looking forward to the implementation of universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election in 2017, and generally agrees that the successful implementation of universal suffrage for the election will bring about positive impact on the policy implementation, economy, and livelihood matters in Hong Kong in the future, and hence sustained development and long-term prosperity and stability for Hong Kong.
On Dec. 4, 2013, the HKSAR government published the Consultation Document on the Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2016 to formally commence a five-month public consultation to collect views from various sectors of the community on major issues and related questions on the two electoral methods.
During the five-month consultation period, the relevant HKSAR officials attended a total of 226 consultation and district events.
A total of about 124,700 written submissions from different groups and individuals, sent through post, facsimile or e-mail and submitted directly at various consultation events, were received during the consultation period.
According to the outcome of the public consultation, the mainstream opinion is that the chief executive should be a person who "loves the country and loves Hong Kong," and relevant provisions in the Basic Law have already adequately reflect such requirement, she said.
Lam said the mainstream opinion is that Article 45 of the Basic Law has already made clear that the power to nominate chief executive candidates is vested in the Nominating Committee (NC) only, and that the NC has a substantive power to nominate.
"Such power of nomination must not be undermined or bypassed directly or indirectly. There are relatively more views that the composition of the NC should be decided by reference to the existing four sectors of the Election Committe (EC) in equal proportions, in order to meet the requirement for being broadly representative," she stressed.
There are many different views on how the NC should nominate Chief Executive candidates in accordance with "democratic procedures," she said, adding that some suggest the nominating procedures be divided into two stages, while some consider the nomination threshold should remain at one-eighth of the membership.
"There are also some organizations and people suggesting other proposals on nomination thresholds and nominating procedures, including introducing 'civic nomination,' 'party nomination,' etc., outside of the NC," Lam said.
Besides Lam's report, Hong Kong Chief Executive C Y Leung also submitted one Tuesday to China's top legislature, focusing on whether there is a need to amend the methods for selecting Hong Kong's chief executive in 2017 and for forming the Legislative Council in 2016.