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NPCSC reform decision welcomed

August 31, 2014


Chief Executive CY Leung

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress has finished scrutinising in Beijing the report I submitted. After considering comprehensively the views from the Hong Kong community, the NPCSC adopted the Decision on Issues Relating to the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by Universal Suffrage and on the Method for Forming the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the Year 2016 this afternoon.

The decision has confirmed that universal suffrage for the Chief Executive election could be implemented from 2017 onward through "one person, one vote" election. Official and non-official members of the Executive Council support the decision.  The HKSAR Government and I will follow-up vigorously in order to ensure the continued democratic development of Hong Kong that the CE is elected through "one person, one vote" by 5 million eligible voters in Hong Kong.


The decision of the NPCSC has laid down a clear framework on the specific methods for selecting the CE by universal suffrage from 2017 onward. The HKSAR Government will launch the second round of public consultation as soon as possible, in accordance with the Basic Law and the decisions of the NPCSC; and introduce to the Legislative Council a resolution on amendments to Annex I to the Basic Law in the first quarter of 2015.


The decision of the NPCSC today represents a major step forward in the development of Hong Kong society. It also unfolds a new chapter in the history of Hong Kong.


If we are willing, the majority of Hong Kong people, that is, some 5 million eligible voters, will no longer be bystanders in the next CE election. We will all be able to vote for the CE in 2017 through "one person, one vote" at the polling stations.


Universal suffrage for the CE election through "one person, one vote" by Hong Kong people is not only a big step forward for Hong Kong, but also a historic milestone for our country. The HKSAR Government and I, as well as all the people of Hong Kong, are obliged to accomplish the task dutifully and implement universal suffrage for the next CE election.


The decision of the NPCSC today is not the final step. To put the decision into implementation, we need to obtain a two-thirds majority support from all members of the LegCo. Failing that, we would have no choice but to revert to the status quo for the 1,200-member Election Committee to select the CE; and our 5 million Hong Kong people would be deprived of the voting right that they would otherwise be entitled.


The debate on constitutional development has been highly controversial but the biggest and the most important consensus of the people of Hong Kong is to allow ourselves to exercise our voting right to elect our CE through "one person, one vote" in 2017.


We cannot afford a standstill in our constitutional development or else the prosperity or stability of Hong Kong will be at stake. All Hong Kong people, including all Members of the LegCo, irrespective of their political affiliations, should come together with one heart, one vision, to take forward the democratic development of Hong Kong, and to implement universal suffrage. Thank you.


Chief Executive CY Leung gave these opening remarks on the National People's Congress Standing Committee's decision on issues relating to the Hong Kong SAR's Chief Executive's selection by universal suffrage and on the method for forming the Legislative Council in the Year 2016.