In response to Saturday’s rally marking the fifth anniversary of the pro-democracy Occupy movement, the government said it will only take forward constitutional development after assessing the social situation very carefully.

In a statement, a government spokesman said while universal suffrage for selecting the Chief Executive and all members of the Legislative council is enshrined as an ultimate aim in the Basic Law, this aim can only be achieved if the community is willing to engage in a peaceful dialogue to bring about a consensus agreeable to all sides.

It said it will assess the situation carefully and take forward political reform in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant interpretation and decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Anti-government protesters have blamed the current political crisis on a lack of universal suffrage, saying people simply lack trust in a Chief Executive who is not elected by the people.