Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, the Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, stresses the rule of law during an interview on Sept 10, 2021. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – With the reform of Hong Kong’s electoral system, the candidates in the Legislative Council election on Dec 19 are more diverse and inclusive compared to those in previous polls, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said Thursday.
In an article posted on her blog, Cheng said all candidates meet the legal requirements and conditions for upholding the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR and bearing allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR of the People’s Republic of China.
“This is the first time that there are contested elections in all functional constituencies since our return to the motherland,” Cheng said.
She noted that the age, profession and background of the candidates are more diverse than those in any previous elections, demonstrating the characteristics of broad representation, political inclusiveness, balanced participation and fair competition of the new composition of the LegCo as remarked by the State Council’s Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee Vice-Chairman Xia Baolong.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said all candidates meet the legal requirements and conditions for upholding the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR and bearing allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR of the People’s Republic of China
“I am confident that all the elected candidates will sincerely serve Hong Kong and pursue the well-being of our citizen. This is the purpose of election and also the true meaning of democracy,” Cheng said.
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The elections will be conducted for all constituencies with a total of 90 seats, which comprise 40 members returned by the Election Committee, 30 members by the functional constituencies and 20 members by the geographical constituencies.
“I call on all registered electors to take part in this meaningful and significant election by casting their votes at the designated polling stations between 8:30 am and 10:30 pm on Dec 19. It is our common goal to build a brighter future for Hong Kong and our younger generations,” Cheng said.
She also emphasized that central authorities had solid legal basis when they decided to improve Homng Kong's electoral system.
Cheng noted that the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly emphasized the latitude given to each state in setting the rules governing eligibility to stand for election and the diversity of possible approaches within the European Union.
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The United Nations in its resolutions also clearly points out that “there is no single model of democracy” and that “democracy does not belong to any country or region”, she said.
“In fact, the Standing Committee of the NPC has fully considered the actual situation in Hong Kong,” she added.
Cheng said a new democratic electoral system suited to Hong Kong’s actual situation and with Hong Kong characteristics was synthesized in order to fully implement “patriots administering Hong Kong” and safeguard the “overall interests of society and the constitutional order as set out in the Constitution and the Basic Law”.