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Local legislation providing for the methods for selecting CE and forming LegCo in 2012

     The Government announced today (December 8) that the Chief Executive (CE) Election (Amendment) Bill 2010 and the Legislative Council (LegCo) (Amendment) Bill 2010 would be introduced into the Legislative Council.

     "The amendments to the CE Election Ordinance and LegCo Ordinance are to implement the amendments to the methods for selecting the CE and for forming the LegCo in 2012. The new arrangements will greatly enhance the democratic elements in our electoral system. They are in conformity with the Basic Law, the decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) in December 2007, and the amendments to Annexes I and II to the Basic Law which were approved and recorded respectively by the NPCSC in August 2010," a government spokesman said.

     For the CE Election, the Election Committee (EC) will be expanded in accordance with the principle of balanced participation. There will be more opportunities for members of different sectors to participate in the coming election.

     The number of members of the EC will be increased from 800 to 1,200. The number of seats in the four sectors will each be increased by 100. According to the Government's proposal, no new subsector will be added in the first, second and third sector. The number of seats allocated to the existing 32 subsectors in these three sectors will be increased generally by proportion according to the existing distribution of seats.

     Of the 100 new seats for the fourth sector of the EC, 75 seats will be allocated to elected District Council (DC) members, 10 seats to LegCo members, 10 seats to members of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and five to the Heung Yee Kuk (HYK). The DCs subsectors will have 117 seats. The existing arrangement of grouping the seats into two subsectors (one for Hong Kong and Kowloon (with 57 seats) and the other for the New Territories (with 60 seats) and the current "bloc vote system" will be maintained. Only elected DC members can register as voters, nominate candidates and be nominated as candidates in the DCs subsectors.

     From February 2012 when the new term of the EC commences, 10 "Special Member" seats, to be allocated to the CPPCC, HYK and DC, will be created to make up temporarily the difference of 10 seats until the number of LegCo seats increases from 60 to 70 in October 2012.

     In respect of the Chinese Medicine subsector, members of 10 specified bodies who are Chinese medicine practitioners entitled to vote at the general meetings of the respective bodies are currently eligible for registration as voters. In line with other professional subsectors, the Government proposes that all registered Chinese medicine practitioners should be eligible for registration as voters in the subsector. Voters who are currently eligible for registration will continue to be eligible.

     "For the LegCo Election, five of the additional 10 seats for the LegCo in 2012 will be returned by Geographical Constituencies (GCs) and the other five by Functional Constituencies (FCs). The number of GCs will be retained at five. According to the Government's proposal, the number of seats for each of the five GCs (which is four to eight seats at present) will be revised to five to nine seats," the spokesman added.

     The five new FC seats will form a new DC FC, which will be named the "DC(second)FC" under the Bill. Only elected DC members can nominate and become candidates in the new DC FC. Candidates must be nominated by no less than 15 elected DC members. Candidates will be elected by approximately 3.2 million electors (who are not registered in other FCs) on a one-person-one-vote basis. The proportional representation list system will be adopted in the new DC FC to ensure balanced participation by different political parties.

     The maximum amount of election expenses that can be incurred by a list of candidates in the new DC FC will be $6 million. The financial assistance provided by the Government is the lower of either the amount obtained by multiplying the total number of valid votes cast for the list of candidates by $12 or 50% of their declared election expenses.

     In respect of the traditional FCs, the Government's general policy is that there should be no substantial change. However, as a regular exercise, the Government will review whether there is a need to propose technical adjustments to reflect the latest development of these FCs. This includes updating the names of certain bodies or members of the bodies which are registered, or are eligible to be registered, as electors, or deleting those organisations which have ceased operation.

     The Government understands that there have been concerns that overseas government organisations should not be eligible for voting in the FCs. Having reviewed the arrangement, the Government proposes to exclude the consular posts set out in the Consular Relations Ordinance (Cap. 557) and the international organisations set out in the International Organisations (Privileges and Immunities) Ordinance (Cap. 558) and the International Organisations and Diplomatic Privileges Ordinance (Cap. 190) from being eligible for registration as a corporate elector.

     "We plan to introduce into the LegCo the CE Election (Amendment) Bill and the LegCo (Amendment) Bill next week and conduct the first and second reading of the bills on December 15, 2010. We hope that the LegCo can pass the bills as soon as possible next year to provide sufficient time for preparing the 2011 EC subsector elections, and the arrangements for the subsequent elections," the spokesman said.

     The bills concerned and details of the proposals will be uploaded later on LegCo's webpage.

Ends/Wednesday, December 8, 2010