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Amendments to the Legislative Council Ordinance to update the electorate of functional constituencies

    The Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2007, which seeks to update the electorate of functional constituencies for the 2008 Legislative Council (LegCo) election, will be gazetted this Friday (December 7).

     "The package of proposals for the methods of selecting the Chief Executive (CE) in 2007 and forming the LegCo in 2008 did not receive the required two-thirds majority support of LegCo Members in December 2005. In accordance with the Interpretation made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on April 6, 2004, if no amendment is made to the methods for selecting the CE and for forming the LegCo as stipulated in Annexes I and II of the Basic Law, the provisions relating to the two methods in Annexes I and II of the Basic Law will continue to apply,' a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said.

     "In the circumstances, the 2008 LegCo election will be held on the basis of the existing arrangements. The number and composition of existing functional constituencies (FCs) should remain unchanged, and only minor technical updating will be made."

     The LegCo (Amendment) Bill 2007 will amend the Legislative Council Ordinance to reflect changes in the names of corporate electors/organisations in the existing electorate of six FCs.

     It will also remove the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation from the Transport FC to reflect the corporation's cessation of transport operation under the Rail Merger Ordinance.

     The bill will also replace a certain elector or organisation which has ceased to exist by another relevant elector or organisation.

     "The Hong Kong Sports Institute Limited (HKSIL) was established to take over the elite training function of the former Hong Kong Sports Development Board (HKSDB) when the latter dissolved on October 1, 2004. As the former HKSDB was a registered voter under the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC, the HKSIL should be included in this FC," the spokesman said.

     "Following the removal of the Tobacco Institute of Hong Kong Limited from the Wholesale and Retail FC when the institute was wound up, there is no organisation in this FC that represents the tobacco industry. Accordingly, there is a case for the Tobacco Association of Hong Kong Limited to be included in this FC as the representative body of the tobacco industry."

     In addition, the bill reflects the restructuring of membership of two organisations in the Information Technology FC.

     The bill also contains consequential amendments to the Schedule to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance to make corresponding changes to the composition of the relevant Election Committee subsectors.

     The bill will be introduced into the LegCo on December 19.

Ends/Wednesday, December 5, 2007