Chief secretary lays down the law on reforms
The most popular proposal on political reform will have to gather two-thirds support from legislators and Beijing's approval, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen reminded people in his first public appearance to promote the green paper.
Speaking to the Federation of Trade Unions yesterday, Mr Tang said he noticed that polls were already taking place to gather public opinions on the paper's options.
'When an ideal proposal has come out, we shall ask whether it can obtain two-thirds support in the Legislative Council, and whether it can obtain the consent of the central government,' he said. 'It must also abide by the framework set in the Basic Law.'
FTU president Cheng Yiu-tong said members had expressed concern over the proposal to apply universal suffrage in 2012 and end functional constituency seats in Legco.
'Some have questioned if these will breach the principles of 'gradual and orderly progress' and 'balanced participation',' he said after the meeting with more than 100 workers.
Constitutional affairs chief Stephen Lam Sui-lung and labour chief Matthew Cheung Kin-chung accompanied the chief secretary.
'The arrangements were made to demonstrate the team spirit in the administration and we will continue to work like a team,' Mr Tang said.
He did not rule out having four ministers appear at meetings to promote the green paper.
Meanwhile, the pan-democratic camp had yet to reach a consensus on details of the campaign to push for universal suffrage in 2012, but said a 'model answer' to the options suggested in the green paper would be given soon.
'The model answer will follow the format of the green paper to help the public to understand it,' Democratic Party lawmaker Yeung Sum said.
National People's Congress Standing Committee member Tsang Hin-chi said that 'no matter a quicker pace or a slower pace [to attain universal suffrage], we must follow the rules as stated in the Basic Law'.