|Amendment Bill to address legal and other issues relating to CE election
A Government spokesman said today (March 1) that the Government proposed to amend the Chief Executive Election Ordinance to ensure the smooth conduct of the 2007 Chief Executive (CE) election. The Chief Executive Election and Legislative Council Election (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2006 would be gazetted on Friday (March 3) for introduction into the Legislative Council on March 8.
The spokesman said that the Bill mainly sought to address the legal issues identified in the Fifth Report of the Constitutional Development Task Force, and to provide for the electoral arrangement in the event that only one CE candidate is validly nominated.
"The Bill proposes that if only one CE candidate is validly nominated, election proceedings shall continue," the spokesman said.
The spokesman explained that when voting, Election Committee (EC) members could indicate in the ballot papers either to "support" or "not support" the sole candidate.
"A sole candidate shall be returned at the election if the number of support votes he obtains constitutes more than half of the total number of valid votes cast. However, if the number of support votes obtained by a sole candidate falls short of more than half of the total valid votes cast, the nomination and election process would start afresh," the spokesman said.
"If, at the close of the new and subsequent rounds of nominations, there is still only one candidate, election process shall be repeated until a candidate is returned."
The Bill will also address other technical issues, including:
(a) to address the practical difficulties in implementing the "substantial connection" provision in relation to the District Council, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the Heung Yee Kuk subsectors;
(b) to address the issue relating to the compilation and publication of the final register of members of the EC after a EC subsector ordinary election; and
(c) to reflect changes in the names of organisations which are eligible to be the electorate of the EC, or the names of umbrella organisations the members of which are eligible to be the electorate of the EC, and to remove the names of those organisations or umbrella organisations which have ceased to exist.
(d) to reflect changes to the licensing system under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60) and changes to the registration system under the Import and Export (General) Regulations (Cap. 60A) for the purpose of delineating the electorate of the Import and Export subsector and the Textiles and Garment subsector respectively; and
(e) to reflect the fact that the first EC, which was constituted on July 14, 2000, had already been dissolved.
The spokesman added that the 2007 CE election would be held on the basis of the existing arrangements.
"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 still be applicable.
"As Government's package of proposals on 2007/08 elections did not receive the required two-thirds majority support of all Legislative Council Members, existing electoral arrangements will continue to apply to the 2007/08 elections i.e. the electorate base will remain unchanged," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that the EC subsector ordinary elections would be held in December this year, and the CE election in March, 2007.
Ends/Wednesday, March 1, 2006