This aerial photo taken on June 27, 2017 shows the scenery on the both sides of the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. (LUI SIU WAI / XINHUA)
BEIJING – A Chinese central government spokesperson on Thursday commended the passage of a bill by the Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to improve Hong Kong's electoral system.
The Liaison Office of the HKSAR said that the legislation is democratic, open and progressive as it reflects the wide consensus of Hong Kong society
The spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said the endorsement of "Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021" – which contains amendments to local electoral laws – marks the full completion of the local legislative work on improving the HKSAR's electoral system.
The move is another institutional achievement in ensuring law-based governance in Hong Kong and will open a new chapter of good governance, said the spokesperson.
Making local laws to improve Hong Kong's electoral system will plug the loopholes in the existing system and help eliminate chaos seen in previous elections, said the spokesperson.
The passing of the bill demonstrates the sense of responsibility of the HKSAR government, the LegCo and various social sectors in upholding the constitutional order, the spokesperson said, commending the new trend of Hong Kong's executive authorities and legislature engaging in positive interaction.
The newly adopted bill, along with the national security law for Hong Kong, and the public servants' oath and allegiance system, has further established the new order of "patriots administering Hong Kong," said the spokesperson.
The new order will ensure the steady and sound development of Hong Kong's democratic political system, according to the spokesperson.
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On the upcoming elections of the Election Committee, the LegCo and the Chief Executive of the HKSAR, the spokesperson said relevant departments of the central government will support the HKSAR government in organizing elections in accordance with the law, strictly regulating electoral activities, and cracking down on various illegal acts that disrupt the election order.
The Liaison Office of the HKSAR said in a statement on Thursday that the legislation is democratic, open and progressive as it reflects the wide consensus of Hong Kong society and heeds the opinions of lawmakers and people from all walks of life.
The amended laws safeguard the constitutional order of the HKSAR set by the Constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law, implement the principle of "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" with patriots as the main body, and guarantee Hong Kong permenant residents' right to vote and stand for election, the office said.
The new democratic electoral system is in line with Hong Kong's reality, the office said.
The office also stressed that the law-making process is democratic and sticks to the rule of the law.
The HKSAR government held multiple seminars and used media platforms to explain the legislation to the public and listen to opinions from various sectors, and the LegCo collected advice from the public and prompted the government to make 369 revisions to the bill, the office said.
The office believes the new electoral system will be fully implemented with the joint efforts of the HKSAR government and various sectors of the society.