Hong Kong’s Constitutional Development

Dear Friends,

As you may know, Hong Kong society has been involved in debates and discussions about our constitutional development for almost two years.

After two rounds of public consultation and numerous meetings and briefings involving all sectors of the community, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government formally tabled its proposals to the Legislative Council on 17 June 2015 and it was put to the vote on 18 June 2015.

Under the Basic Law, a two-thirds majority of the 70 legislators (that is, 47 votes) is required to take forward any proposals on constitutional development. In this case, we were seeking support for proposals to elect the Chief Executive by one-person, one-vote in the 2017 Chief Executive election. Our proposals would have allowed up to 5 million eligible voters to vote for the Chief Executive in 2017.

Unfortunately, the proposals were not passed. We are naturally very disappointed that Hong Kong’s constitutional development will come to a standstill in the foreseeable future. We believe that our proposal would have been a major step forward in Hong Kong’s constitutional development. Sadly, that will not be the case. As a result, the method for selecting the 5th term CE in 2017 will remain the same as that for selecting the 4th term CE in 2012.

The current term HKSAR Government will not put forward any further constitutional development proposals for the remainder of its term ending 30 June 2017. Any decision on whether to initiate the reform process again will rest with the next Chief Executive selected in 2017.

The day after the proposals were vetoed, the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, informed the public that the Government will now focus its energy on handling economic and livelihood matters. It is the Government’s sincere hope that all sectors of the community can work together to enhance communication and rebuild mutual trust, develop the economy, create jobs and tackle livelihood issues to create a better city and future for all in Hong Kong.

Back here this summer, my office will continue to organise and support a number of events and activities such as films, concerts and dragon boat festivals to promote awareness of Hong Kong and to foster closer business and cultural ties between Hong Kong and the United States. Stay tuned by following our facebook page: www.facebook.com/hkmeetsamerica

Steve Barclay
Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office (New York)
115 East 54th Street
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212-752-3320
Fax: 212-752-3395
Email: steve_barclay@hketony.gov.hk

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