Chief Executive's transcript

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, this (Friday) afternoon:

The Court of Final Appeal has made a very important decision today. The SAR Government welcomes and respects that judgment. Today's judgment will enable all parties concerned to come to a fuller understanding of the original judgment. This judgment fully reflects that we have the ability to make "Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong" and "one country, two systems" a great success. Our system of rule of law is complete and intact.

I wish to emphasise once again the Government has decided that it should apply to the court for clarification of certain parts of its decision given on 29 January 1999, because of these very exceptional circumstances and public interest that has been generated in the relevant issues and their constitutional importance. We were not applying for a rehearing or seeking to overturn the original judgment. The original judgment remains intact. In this exceptional situation, the Court has taken the exceptional course under their inherent jurisdiction.

The SAR Government firmly believes that all parties concerned, including SAR courts, will always abide by the Basic Law in exercising their powers and discharging their functions. The Court of Final Appeal's decision today has made that position very clear.

In dealing with this issue, the Secretary for Justice has provided very useful and important advice to the Government.

The SAR Government fully respects the judicial independence. We remain confident that under the Basic Law and "one country, two systems", our constitutional system is sound and well established.

END/Friday, February 26, 1999