|Geographical constituency recommendations accepted for 2008 Legco election
The Chief Executive-in-Council has accepted all the final recommendations of the independent Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) regarding the delineation and names of geographical constituencies (GCs) and the allocation of seats to each GC for the 2008 Legislative Council (LegCo) Election, a government spokesman said today (October 17).
The decision of the Chief Executive-in-Council will be effected by way of the Declaration of Geographical Constituencies (Legislative Council) Order 2007, which will be published in the Gazette tomorrow (October 18) and tabled at the Legco on October 24.
The report of the EAC, submitted to the Chief Executive on September 11, was tabled at the Legco today for public information as required by law.
The EAC recommended that the boundaries and names of the five existing GCs should remain unchanged. The five GCs are Hong Kong Island (comprising the administrative districts of Central and Western, Wan Chai, Eastern and Southern); Kowloon West (comprising Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po and Kowloon City); Kowloon East (comprising Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong); New Territories West (comprising Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Kwai Tsing and Islands); and New Territories East (comprising North, Tai Po, Sha Tin and Sai Kung).
A total of 30 seats will be allocated to the five GCs. According to the population distribution, the EAC proposed to allocate six seats for Hong Kong Island, five for Kowloon West, four for Kowloon East, eight for New Territories West and seven for New Territories East. Compared with the distribution of seats for the 2004 Legco Election, Kowloon West would have one more seat and Kowloon East would have one less, due to the change in population figures. The number of seats for the other three GCs would remain the same.
In making its recommendations, a primary consideration of the EAC was to ensure compliance with the population criterion as provided for in the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance, the Government spokesman said.
"This means that the population of each GC should not exceed or fall short of the number, which results when the population quota is multiplied by the number of seats in that GC, by more than 15%. The population quota is obtained by dividing the total population of Hong Kong by the total number of GC seats," he said.
He said that apart from this, the EAC had also adopted the following working principles.
"First, the boundaries of the existing five GCs should form the basis of consideration in the current demarcation exercise.
"Second, for existing GCs where the population falls within the permissible range of the population quota requirement, their boundaries will be adopted as far as possible.
"Third, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories are to be treated separately, as these areas have been regarded as distinct from one another.
"Fourth, splitting of districts should be avoided unless there are very strong reasons. Where splitting of districts is necessary, it should affect the least number of districts.
"Lastly, factors with political implications will not be considered," he said.
The spokesman said the EAC had done its job in compliance with the statutory requirements.
"Before making its final recommendations, the EAC conducted public consultations and considered carefully all representations. It also examined various options on the basis of the relevant statutory criteria," the spokesman said.
Ends/Wednesday, October 17, 2007