I am astonished that the Government has chosen to make statements of such profound importance to the outcome of the current consultation process on political reform in the context of an informal media lunch gathering. It is not only inappropriate; it is exceedingly discourteous to the many groups and thousands of individuals who have taken the trouble to make thoughtful and sincere proposals for changes to the method of forming the Legislative Council in 2016 and electing the Chief Executive by universal suffrage in 2017.
In the spirit of the promised open discussion, the public has the right to expect that the Government’s second round of proposals will be comprehensive, reasoned and responsive to the public views that have been expressed. By pouring cold water on the aspirations of those who are determined to settle for nothing less than genuinely democratic elections, the Constitutional Development Task Force will only further exacerbate the current tensions in the community.
Civic nomination, a democratically elected Nominating Committee and a low nomination threshold are matters of key concern, along with the phasing out of functional constituency elections. I urge the Government to make a clear and unequivocal statement of its position on these issues.