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Basic Law clearly specifies function of the Election Committee

A Government spokesman today (December 16) reiterated that the electoral arrangements for the Chief Executive (CE) and the CE Election Bill would be fully consistent with the Basic Law (BL).

He pointed out that the Government had stated such views on different occasions in the past.

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, when attending the Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting in the course of considering the 1999 Legislative Council (Amendment) Bills on May 31, 1999, drew members' attention to the fact that the relations between Annexes I and II had been clearly stated in the BL.

In June this year before the nominations for the EC elections ended, the Secretary said that those who were interested in the CE election should also be interested in the LegCo elections.

In response to views saying that the proposal put forward by the Government might lead to possible lawsuit, the spokesman pointed out that electoral arrangements for the CE would be conducted in accordance with the BL and the CE Election Bill would be fully consistent with the BL.

The spokesman refuted reports accusing the Government had deliberately chosen such a timing to announce the decision. He said such reports were groundless and misleading.

"As the LegCo Elections and the CE Election were held at different time, the legislative timetable for the two elections will, naturally, be different," he said.

Referring to reports querying why the Government announced the decision all of a sudden, the spokesman said that at the October meeting of the Constitutional Affairs Panel of the new term LegCo, Panel members had urged the Government, at the earliest possible date, to present the legislative proposals for the CE election and to consult their views, the spokesman said.

The Government yesterday (December 15) issued a paper outlining the preliminary legislative proposals for the CE election for discussion at the LegCo Constitutional Affairs Panel meeting on Monday (December 18).

"We will listen to members' views on our preliminary legislative proposals at the CA Panel meetings. Once the drafting of the Bill has been completed, we will introduce the CE Election Bill into the LegCo as soon as possible. The Bill will have to be passed by the LegCo before its implementation," he said.

End/Saturday, December 16, 2000