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LCQ6: LegCo functional constituencies elections

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (November 13):


Under the Basic Law, the Legislative Council ("LegCo") in the third term to be formed in 2004 will continue to comprise 60 Members, with half of them returned by functional constituencies ("FCs"). In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

(a) of the planned timing for consulting the public on the arrangements for LegCo FCs elections, including the delineation of functional sectors, eligibility of electors and voting methods; and

(b) whether they will consider changing the eligibility criteria of functional sector electors with a view to enlarging the electorate, so as to tie in with the Administration's policy on a gradual and orderly democratization of the political system and to allow wider public participation in such elections?


Madam President,

As regards the first part of the question, since assuming office in July, I have been listening to the views expressed by various quarters on issues falling within the portfolio of constitutional affairs. Meanwhile, colleagues in the Constitutional Affairs Bureau are reviewing relevant arrangements for the 2004 Legislative Council (LegCo) elections, including matters relating to the functional constituencies (FCs) elections. Following completion of the review, in line with established practice, we will consult Members through the submission of proposals to the LegCo Panel on Constitutional Affairs (CA). Our current plan is to put proposals to the CA Panel for discussion as soon as possible. We intend to do so during the first quarter of next year or earlier. The public and parties concerned are welcome to express their views on the proposals put forth.

As for the second part of the question, we have no intention at this stage of making major changes to alter the electorate basis of the FCs for the 2004 LegCo elections. Our current thinking is that 30 seats of the third term LegCo should continue to be returned by the existing 28 FCs. However, we will make appropriate adjustments to the composition of the FCs having regard to the circumstances of individual constituencies. For example, where appropriate we will propose including in the relevant FCs bodies which were established in recent years and are considered to be representative of the relevant FCs, and deleting those which have ceased operation or become inactive.

End/Wednesday, November 13, 2002.