A screen shows the voting result for the Improving Electoral System Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 with 40 in favor and two against in the Legislative Council chamber, Hong Kong, May 27, 2021. (EDMOND TANG/CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s legislature on Thursday passed an electoral reform bill that aims to facilitate the full implementation of the “patriots administering Hong Kong” precept in the city.
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The Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 was approved in a 40-2 vote, and will take effect on May 31.
Highlights of the bill include restructuring the Election Committee that chooses the city’s top leader, revising the election method of the chief executive, updating the composition and method for the formation of the Legislative Council, and redetermining the eligibility of candidates and voters.
Highlights of the bill include restructuring the Election Committee that chooses the city’s top leader, revising the election method of the chief executive, updating the composition and method for the formation of the Legislative Council, and redetermining the eligibility of candidates and voters
According to the bill, the Election Committee will be expanded from 1,200 members from four sectors to 1,500 members from five sectors. The new sector will comprise local representatives of the National People’s Congress, the nation’s top legislature, and members of other national organizations.
The bill requires all Election Committee members to pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
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The Legislative Council will be expanded to 90 seats from 70, 40 of which will be returned by the Election Committee, 30 by functional constituencies and 20 by geographical constituencies through direct elections.
The bill also lists a timetable for the coming elections to be held in the city. The Election Committee Subsector Elections will be held on Sept 19 and the LegCo general election will take place on Dec 19. The Chief Executive Election will be held on March 27, 2022.
Welcoming the passage of the measure, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in a statement that Hong Kong has ushered in a new era for its political system that will ensure the full and accurate implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle.
She said that the improvement to the HKSAR electoral system is both timely and necessary, as anti-China forces had created chaos in LegCo, paralyzed the operation of the HKSAR government, and even colluded with external forces to undermine Hong Kong's safety and interests. “No country or government could turn a blind eye to such dangers,” she said.
Talking with the media after the measure’s passage, LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said the bill signifies the solid implementation of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, and the revamped electoral system will allow more and different voices in LegCo to reflect the overall interest of Hong Kong, as well as helping LegCo better perform its constitutional duty.
China's top legislature in March unanimously passed bills to amend the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress adopted amendments to Annex I and Annex II to Hong Kong's Basic Law at the two-day session, which concluded on March 30. The two annexes deal with the method of selection of Hong Kong's chief executive and the formation and voting procedures of the Legislative Council.
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The amended annexes were promulgated in two presidential orders signed by President Xi Jinping on March 31, replacing the original annexes and related amendments.
The Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 codifies the changes.