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Feedback considered in replacement consultation

June 29, 2011
Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam says the most essential feature of a public consultation exercise has already been dealt with as the Government has listened to public views on the electoral replacement mechanism and put forth a revised set of proposals.
Speaking to the media tonight, Mr Lam said since five legislators resigned last year, there has been widespread opinion among Hong Kong society that this problem of unnecessary resignations should be dealt with and that the Government should take proactive action to plug the loophole to avoid such unnecessary resignations and to avoid unnecessary public expenditure so the operation of the Legislative Council will not be affected.
“Throughout the last year and a half or so, both within and outside the Legislative Council we have had pretty full discussions about various possible remedies to this problem. In fact, one of the legislators put forth a Private Member’s Bill. All these options we have discussed and evaluated thoroughly,” he said.
“In the course of the one-and-a-half-months since we, as the Government, put forward our proposals, both within the legislature and outside the Legislative Council we have had quite a lot of public discussions.
“In particular, on June 18, the Legislative Council held a public discussion forum and we received views from over 100 representatives of organisations and individuals. These views covered a very full spectrum of opinions, both in support of and in opposition to our proposals. Those who came to present views also put forth various possible solutions.
“Having evaluated all these views which we have received, yesterday we put forth a revised set of proposals to the legislature. The key element in our revised proposals is that henceforth, any legislator who resigns or vacates his seat can first be replaced by a candidate from his original list – a candidate who stood in the same general election as this resigning member.”
He reiterated the proposal will help preserve the distribution of seats according to the proportional representation system.
“This revision of our proposal demonstrates very fully the sincerity and commitment on the part of the Government to address this problem in a manner which is consistent with public opinion, which is legal, which is constitutional and which will provide a solution to Hong Kong society,” he said.
“Therefore, the most essential feature of a public consultation exercise has already been dealt with – we have listened to public views, we have put forth a revised set of proposals. We believe the time for enacting legislation has come. We hope we will continue to receive sufficient support within the legislature for this to be taking forward.”

2011 Population Census