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LC: Speech by SCMA in moving the District Councils Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Order 2010

     Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in moving the District Councils Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Order 2010 in the Legislative Council today (December 1):


     I move that the motion, as printed on the agenda be passed. The purpose of the District Councils Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Order 2010 (the Order) is to add seven elected seats to six District Councils in the fourth term District Councils commencing on January 1, 2012.

     Since the first term District Councils, we have increased the number of elected seats for the Islands, Sai Kung and Yuen Long District Councils to tie in with their population growth relative to the previous District Council election. As for the other District Councils, although the population growth between successive District Council elections was relatively modest, the cumulative growth since 1999 for some districts could be significant. Accordingly, we have undertaken an overall review on the number of elected seats for each District Council having regard to the population forecast for Hong Kong in 2011.

     As a result of the review, we propose to allocate an extra seat to each of the following five District Councils: Kwun Tong, Yau Tsim Mong, Kwai Tsing, North District and Sai Kung, and two extra seats to Yuen Long District Council.

     The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau consulted the Legislative Council Panel on Constitutional Affairs on the proposal in July this year. Members expressed no objection to the proposal. The Chief Executive in Council made the Order at the Executive Council meeting on September 21, 2010. 

     The Order has been scrutinised by the Subcommittee on District Councils Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 3) Order 2010. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Honourable Ip Kwok-him and other members of the Subcommittee for agreeing to expedite the examination of the Order. I also thank them for their valuable opinions.

     Subject to the approval of the Order by the Legislative Council today, the Electoral Affairs Commission will proceed with the demarcation of constituency boundaries for the 2011 District Councils election having regard to the revised number of seats and in accordance with the statutory criteria for demarcation. The Electoral Affairs Commission will publish its provisional recommendations on the delineation of the 412 District Council constituency areas for public consultation in early December. The final recommendations will be submitted to the Chief Executive by no later than March 2011.

     May I ask Members to approve the Order to enable the implementation of the proposed addition of seats.

     Thank you, President.

Ends/Wednesday, December 1, 2010