Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in moving the Second Reading of the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2010 2010 in the Legislative Council meeting today (December 15):
I move the Second Reading of the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2010 (the Bill).
Method for forming the Legislative Council (LegCo)
Regarding the method for forming the LegCo in 2012, according to the amendments to Annex II to the Basic Law, the number of LegCo Members returned by geographical constituencies (GCs) and by functional constituencies (FCs) will each be increased from 30 to 35. The major proposals of the Administration under the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2010 include:
(i) the number of GCs will be retained at five. The number of seats for each of the GCs (which is four to eight seats at present) will be revised to five to nine seats;
(ii) the five new District Council (DC) FC seats will be returned from the whole HKSAR as a single constituency in accordance with the proportional representation list system. Candidates will be elected by electors who do not have the right to vote in the traditional FCs or those who have not opted to register in these FCs. Only elected DC members are eligible to be nominated as candidates and they must be nominated by no less than 15 elected DC members. For persons with the right to vote in the traditional FCs, they will be given a choice to opt to register in the traditional FCs or in the new DC FC. However, elected DC members may only register in the existing DC FC. Under the existing legislation, persons eligible for registration as electors in the Heung Yee Kuk, Agriculture and Fisheries, Insurance and Transport FCs may only register in those FCs concerned. This arrangement is to ensure that the number of registered electors of these FCs will not be too small;
(iii) as regards the five new DC FC seats, the maximum amount of election expenses will be $6 million. The financial assistance provided for a list of candidates or a candidate for the 2012 LegCo election will be increased from $11 to $12 per vote;
(iv) similar to the five new DC FC seats, only elected DC members are eligible to be nominated as candidates in the existing DC FC;
(v) the five new DC FC seats to be returned by approximately 3.2 million electors on a one-person-one-vote basis will substantially enhance the democratic elements of the LegCo election. Hence, there should be no substantial changes for the traditional FCs. However, same as the previous LegCo elections, we will review whether there is a need to propose technical adjustments to the electorate to reflect the latest developments of these FCs. This includes updating the names of certain bodies and deleting those organisations which have ceased operation; and
(vi) lastly, having regard to the views of society, we will also propose under the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2010 that consular posts and international organisations set up by overseas Governments in the HKSAR will no longer be eligible to be registered as a corporate elector. The relevant amendments will also be applicable to the corresponding Election Committee subsectors.
President, this is the first time since the establishment of the HKSAR that, in accordance with the Basic Law, the amendments to the electoral methods for the Chief Executive and the LegCo are passed. This enables us to roll forward democratic development in Hong Kong. The Administration hopes that the two Bills could amend the Chief Executive Election Ordinance and Legislative Council Ordinance so as to implement the amendments approved and recorded respectively by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in August this year. The Bills would increase the democratic elements of various elections. This will also create favourable conditions for implementing the universal suffrage for the CE in 2017 and for the LegCo in 2020.
We hope that the community will adopt a rational, pragmatic and accommodating attitude, and take this hard-earned opportunity to promote the democratic development of Hong Kong. With these remarks, President, I would like to appeal to Members to support the two Bills.
Thank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, December 15, 2010