Matthew Cheung, chief secretary for administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said on Sunday that improving the electoral system of the HKSAR is clearly a step forward in Hong Kong’s democracy, which provides Hong Kong’s political system with a new starting point.
The amended Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law of the HKSAR were passed at the 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 30. The two annexes concern the method for the selection of the HKSAR chief executive and the method for the formation of the HKSAR Legislative Council (LegCo) and its voting procedures, respectively.
Cheung said in his blog that the NPC move is of great significance, which enables full implementations of “one country, two systems” and the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle, and safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests.
Cheung said that improving the HKSAR’s electoral system is not the so-called “democratic regressions” as distorted and smeared by people with ulterior motives. He reiterated that the central authorities improved the election system of the HKSAR, and the provisions of the selection of the HKSAR chief executive and the method for the formation of the Legislative Council in the HKSAR Basic Law have not been changed, nor has the goal of universal suffrage been changed.
Cheung said there will be three elections in Hong Kong in the coming year, including elections of the Election Committee, the Legislative Council and the HKSAR chief executive. The HKSAR government hoped the Legislative Council could pass the relevant bill before the end of May so that the preparatory work for the elections could be carried out.
Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, said on Sunday in his blog that improving the electoral system allows Hong Kong to restore its stability and prosperity, and the fruits of economic development can be more evenly and broadly shared.
He expected that after improving the electoral system, extreme political disputes and attacks will be reduced, and the Hong Kong society can concentrate on the planning for future development.
Chan said that after meeting with different sectors in Hong Kong recently, he learnt that the community generally expected the improvement of the electoral system will help to strengthen the executive-led political system and enhance the administration efficiency of the HKSAR government, so that and deep-rooted issues such as land and housing will be dealt with more effectively as soon as possible.