BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- China's central government welcomed the passing of the amendment to the method for selecting Hong Kong's Chief Executive and forming the Legislative Council in 2012, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said Friday in a statement.
"The central government stands firm on promoting the democratic development of Hong Kong's political system in line with the Basic Law and the decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress(NPC)," the statement said.
Hong Kong's 60-member Legislative Council passed the first part of the amendment to the method for the selection of Chief Executive in 2012 on Thursday and then the second part of the amendment to the method for forming the Legislative Council in 2012 on Friday, both by a two-thirds majority.
According to the amendment, the number of the Election Committee to elect the fourth term Chief Executive in 2012 should be increased from 800 to 1,200, while candidates for the office of HK Chief Executive should be jointly nominated by no less than 150 members of the Election Committee.
The amendment should be submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for approval before it takes effect as required by the Basic Law, the statement said.
"It is sincerely hoped that the Hong Kong SAR government, along with all circles of the society, will boost economic development, improve people's livelihoods and increase democracy, and make joint efforts to ensure the region's long-term stability and prosperity," the statement said.