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Geographical constituency recommendations accepted for 2012 Legislative Council Election

     The Chief Executive in Council has accepted all the final recommendations of the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) regarding the delineation and names of geographical constituencies (GCs) and the allocation of seats to each GC for the 2012 Legislative Council (LegCo) Election, a Government spokesman said today (October 19).

     The decision of the Chief Executive in Council will be effected by way of the Declaration of Geographical Constituencies (Legislative Council) Order 2011, which will be published in the Gazette on Friday (October 21) and tabled at the LegCo on October 26.

     The report of the EAC, submitted to the Chief Executive on September 5, was tabled at the LegCo today as required by law.

     The EAC recommended that the boundaries and names of the five existing GCs should remain unchanged. The five GCs are Hong Kong Island (comprising Central and Western District, Wan Chai District, Eastern District and Southern District); Kowloon West (comprising Yau Tsim Mong District, Sham Shui Po District and Kowloon City District); Kowloon East (comprising Wong Tai Sin District and Kwun Tong District); New Territories West (comprising Tsuen Wan District, Tuen Mun District, Yuen Long District, Kwai Tsing District and Islands District); and New Territories East (comprising North District, Tai Po District, Sha Tin District and Sai Kung District).

     A total of 35 seats will be allocated to the five GCs. According to the population distribution, the EAC proposed to allocate seven seats for Hong Kong Island, five seats each for Kowloon West and Kowloon East, and nine seats each for New Territories West and New Territories East. Compared with the distribution of seats for the 2008 LegCo Election, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon East and New Territories West would each have one additional seat and New Territories East would have two more seats. The number of seats for Kowloon West would remain the same.

     In making its recommendations, the primary consideration of the EAC was to ensure compliance with the population criterion as provided for in the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance (Cap. 541).

     "This means that the population of each GC should not exceed or fall short of the number, which results when the population quota is multiplied by the number of seats in that GC, by more than 15 per cent. The population quota is obtained by dividing the total population of Hong Kong by the total number of GC seats," the Government spokesman said.

     Apart from the statutory requirements, the EAC had also adopted the following working principles:

(a) the boundaries of the existing five GCs should form the basis of consideration in the current demarcation exercise;

(b) for existing GCs where the population falls within the permissible range of the population quota requirement, their boundaries would be adopted as far as possible to form new GCs;

(c) Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are to be treated separately, as these areas have been regarded as distinct from one another;

(d) splitting of Districts by District Council Constituency Areas should be avoided unless there are very strong reasons. Where splitting is necessary, it should affect the least number of Districts; and

(e) factors with political implications will not be taken into consideration.

     The EAC had completed the demarcation exercise in compliance with the statutory requirements.

     Before making its final recommendations, the EAC conducted a public consultation from June 23 to July 22 this year and considered carefully all representations. It also examined various options on the basis of the relevant statutory criteria and working principles.

Ends/Wednesday, October 19, 2011