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Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2012

     The Government today (February 1) announced that the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2012 will be introduced into the Legislative Council (LegCo) on February 8.

     A Government spokesman said, "Views received during the public consultation on the arrangements for filling vacancies in the LegCo indicate that more people consider that the phenomenon of Members resigning at will, triggering by-elections in which they seek to stand, is a mischief that needs to be addressed.

     The Government published the public consultation report, which set out the latest proposal, on January 20. Under the proposal, a LegCo Member returned by a geographical constituency (GC), the District Council (second) functional constituency (DC (second) FC) or any other functional constituency (FC) who has resigned from office would be prohibited from standing in any by-elections in all GCs, the DC (second) FC and other FCs in the same LegCo term within six months of his resignation."

     The Bill amends section 39 of the Legislative Council Ordinance to provide for the proposed prohibition.

     The Government spokesman added, "The prohibition would not apply to general elections. If the six-month prohibition spans a current LegCo term and the following LegCo term, the prohibition would not be applicable to the by-elections in the following LegCo term."

     If the Bill is passed by the LegCo, the proposed prohibition would be implemented commencing from the fifth term of the LegCo in October 2012.

     The Bill and details of the proposal will be available at the LegCo's webpage.

Ends/Wednesday, February 1, 2012