|Recommendations accepted on boundaries and seat distribution for 2004 Legco poll
The Chief Executive in Council has accepted all recommendations of the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) on the delineation and names of geographical constituencies and the allocation of seats to each geographical contituency for the 2004 Legislative Council election.
The EAC recommended that the boundaries and names of the five existing geographical constituencies remain unchanged.
The five are Hong Kong Island (Central and Western, Wan Chai, Eastern and Southern); Kowloon West (Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City); Kowloon East (Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong); New Territories West (Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Kwai Tsing and Islands; and New Territories East (North, Tai Po, Sha Tin and Sai Kung).
For the 2004 Legco election, the number of directly elected geographical constituency seats will be increased from 24 to 30.
Regarding the allocation of the additional geographical constituency seats, the EAC recommended that for Hong Kong Island, the number be increased from five to six; for Kowloon East, from four to five; for New Territories West, from six to eight; and for New Territories East, from five to seven. For Kowloon West, the number of seats would remain at four.
The details are set out in the Declaration of Geographical Constituencies (Legislative Council) Order 2003 which will be published in the Government Gazette tomorrow (October 10). The order, together with the EAC Report submitted to the Chief Executive on September 8, will also be tabled in Legco on October 15.
If the order is passed by Legco through negative vetting, the Government and the EAC will put in place all necessary arrangements in the coming months to enable the smooth conduct of the election.
A primary consideration of the EAC was to ensure compliance with the population criterion under the EAC Ordinance, a spokesman for the Constitutional Affairs Bureau said today (October 9).
"This means that the average population of each seat in a geographical constituency should not exceed or fall short of 15% of the population quota, which is obtained by dividing the total population of Hong Kong by the total number of geographical constituency seats."
He said that apart from this, the EAC had also adopted the following working principles.
"First, the boundaries of the five existing geographical constituencies should form the basis of consideration in the current demarcation exercise.
"Second, for existing geographical constituencies where the population falls within the permissible range of the population quota requirement, their boundaries will be adopted as far as possible to form new geographical constituencies.
"Third, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are to be treated separately as these areas have been regarded as distinct from one another.
"Fourth, delineation of geographical constituencies should follow the boundaries of districts as far as is feasible. Where splitting of districts is unavoidable, it should affect the least number of districts.
"Lastly, matters relating to maintaining political influence or advantage will not be considered," he said.
The spokesman added that the EAC had done its job in compliance with the statutory requirements.
"Before making its final recommendations, the EAC conducted public consultations and considered carefully all public representations.
"The EAC endeavoured to strike a proper and fair balance between the views of the public on the one hand, and the various statutory criteria on the other," the spokesman said.
Ends/Thursday, October 9, 2003