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CE election and LegCo election amendment bill passed

The Chief Executive Election and Legislative Council Election (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2006 was passed by the Legislative Council today (May 10).

"The Bill helps ensure the smooth conduct of the 2007 Chief Executive (CE) election," a Government spokesman said.

He said that the Bill mainly sought to address the legal issues identified in the Fifth Report of the Constitutional Development Task Force, and to provide for the electoral arrangement in the event that only one CE candidate is validly nominated.

"The Bill provides that if an election for a new term CE will be held within six months after a vacancy in the office of the CE has arisen, it will not be necessary to hold a by-election.

"The Bill also provides that the term of office of the Election Committee (EC) will commence on February 1 in the year during which the term of office of the CE expires; and that a new CE returned in a by-election may only serve for one more term after expiry of the remainder term, and that the remaining term is regarded as one term.

"Further, the Bill proposes that if only one CE candidate is validly nominated, election proceedings shall continue," the spokesman said.

The Bill also addresses other technical issues, including:

(a) the practical difficulties in implementing the "substantial connection" provision in relation to the District Council, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Heung Yee Kuk subsectors;

(b) the issue relating to the compilation and publication of the final register of members of the EC after an EC subsector ordinary election;

(c) changes in the names of organisations which are eligible to be the electorate of the EC, or the names of umbrella organisations the members of which are eligible to be the electorate of the EC, and to remove the names of those organisations or umbrella organisations which have ceased to exist; and

(d) changes to the licensing system under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60) and changes to the registration system under the Import and Export (General) Regulations (Cap. 60A) for the purpose of delineating the electorate of the Import and Export subsector and the Textiles and Garment subsector respectively.

The spokesman said that the notice for commencement of the Amendment Ordinance would be published in the Gazette on May 13, 2006. The Amendment Ordinance would come into operation on the same day.

The Electoral Affairs Commission would make consequential amendments to the relevant subsidiary legislation thereafter, he said.

Ends/Wednesday, May 10, 2006