LCQ8: Eligibility of Election Committee members to
Following is a question by the Hon Yeung Sum and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (May 18):
Section 26 of the Chief Executive Ordinance (Cap. 569) stipulates that if a member of the Election Committee (EC member) whose name appears on the Final Register of Members of the Election Committee falls within paragraph (a), (b), (c), (f) or (g) of section 18 of the Schedule to the Ordinance, he shall be disqualified from voting at the poll. In this connection, will the
Government inform this Council:
(a) of the number of EC members who have enquired with the relevant authorities whether he/she has been disqualified from voting in the election of the Chief Executive in July this year (CE election);
(b) of the number of EC members and their identity who fall within the descriptions of the above paragraphs and have thus been disqualified from voting in the coming CE election;
(c) whether, according to the legal advice the authorities have received, EC members who belong to the District Councils Subsectors or the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC) Subsector will be deemed to have ceased to have a substantial connection with the subsectors concerned for reason that they are not incumbent district councillors or incumbent Hong Kong
members of the National Committee of the CPPCC and hence, by virtue of paragraph 18(a) of the Schedule above, shall be disqualified from voting in the coming CE election, as well as the number of complaints received by the relevant authorities concerning the eligibility of these EC members to vote;
(d) of the criteria adopted by the relevant authorities for judging whether individual EC members still have a substantial connection with the subsector concerned;
(e) how the relevant authorities will deal with the seats of the EC members whose names are on the above Register but who have been disqualified from voting;
(f) whether it has assessed if the above Ordinance should be amended to stipulate that, in compiling a provisional register of EC members, the Electoral Registration Officer may strike out the name of an EC member on grounds that he has been disqualified from voting; and
(g) how the public will know whether the EC members who have been disqualified from voting have voted or not in the coming CE election?
(a) The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) has not received any enquiry from members of the Election Committee asking whether he is caught by section 18(a), (b), (c), (f) or (g) of the Schedule to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance and thus shall be disqualified from voting at the Chief Executive election. (However, the Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Committee (EAC)
has exchanged views on the relevant issues with an organisation at a meeting arranged at the organisation's request.)
(b) REO has no information which shows that any Election Committee member is caught by section 18(a), (b), (c), (f) or (g) of the Schedule to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, and have thus been disqualified from voting in the coming Chief Executive election.
(c) & (d) Section 26 of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance provides for the circumstances under which an Election Committee member whose name appears on the final register shall be disqualified from voting at the poll, one of which is the cessation of substantial connection with the subsector concerned. According to section 1(3) of the Schedule to the Chief Executive
Election Ordinance, the circumstances in which a person has a substantial connection with a subsector include, but are not limited to, being a member, partner, officer or employee of a body included in the subsector.
An Election Committee member who is no longer a District Council member or a Hong Kong member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is not necessarily disqualified from voting at the Chief Executive election. As long as he still maintains a substantial connection with the subsector concerned, he will continue to be qualified to vote.
Whether an Election Committee member maintains a substantial connection with the relevant subsector needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis; no general conclusion can be made. The REO has not received any complaints concerning the eligibility to vote of the aforementioned categories of Election Committee members.
(e) According to the law, the persons whose names appear on the Election Committee final register are Election Committee members.
(f) We have no plan to amend the relevant legislation at present. The Chief Executive election will be conducted in accordance with the existing law.
(g) If there is any complaint that an Election Committee member who is disqualified from voting did vote in the Chief Executive election, the EAC and the Independent Commission Against Corruption will take follow-up action according to the law.
Ends/Wednesday, May 18, 2005