12/16/2005, 00.00
Hong Kong – EU
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European Parliament backs timetable on democracy for Hong Kong

During the plenary session lawmakers supported moves to work for achieving a full democracy on  Territory. Resolution will be presented to United Nations and the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Strasburg (AsiaNews/Scmp) - The European Parliament last night passed a resolution inviting the Hong Kong government to set a timetable for universal suffrage and to abolish the appointment system in the district councils.

The non-binding resolution also calls for a broadening of the electorate of the Election Committee to choose the chief executive and to replace corporate voting by individual voting. The position on Hong Kong's democracy formed part of the debate on mainland human rights violations during the parliament's session in Strasbourg.

Members who spoke during the 75-minute debate said they were aware that tens of thousands of people had marched in Hong Kong in favour of universal suffrage on December 4. The parliament also supported moves to pressure Beijing to work for early and substantial progress towards the goal of universal suffrage for Hong Kong.

The members also instructed the president of the parliament to forward the resolution result to the United Nations, the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the Legislative Council and Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

A Hong Kong government spokesman said early today that the administration was fully committed to achieving the ultimate aim of universal suffrage.

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