Government to push for amendment to term of chief executive

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 March, 2005, 12:00am

Updated at 6.15pm:
Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung said on Wednesday the government's priority was to push ahead with an amendment bill to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance.

In the amendment, the government would insert a clause to the ordinance on the term of the chief executive.

The clause states a chief executive, who fills a vacancy because of the death of his predecessor or revocation of his appointment by the central government, shall serve the remainder of his predecessor's tenure.

Mr Lam told reporters on Wednesday the government would pursue the bill in the Legislative Council.

'We will do our very best to explain to legislators the basis for this draft legislation. We hope that we can complete this piece of legislation and have it enacted before the nomination period begins,' he said

But Mr Lam refused to comment whether the chief executive election would be held as scheduled on July 10 - if the bill was voted down.

'I would not make any speculation over such a situation. But I would say, in the coming two to three months, we will focus on the draft legislation and preparation works for the election for the chief executive,' he said.

Asked about reports that some legislators might launch a judicial review, he said the government would monitor developments as they unfold and act accordingly.

'As regards the possibility of a judicial review, we will always be prepared to deal with any court cases in accordance with the Basic Law and the laws of Hong Kong,' he said.

The amendment bill will be gazetted on Thursday and introduced into Legco on April 6.