HK to elect deputies to national legislature
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will elect 36 deputies to the 14th National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on Dec 15, with the nomination period starting on Wednesday and running through Nov 30.
The decision was made at a presidium meeting of the electoral conference in Hong Kong on Monday.
The electoral conference held its first plenary session earlier in the day, which was attended by 1,107 members. With 1,100 votes in favor and seven invalid votes, a 19-member presidium was elected to preside over the conference.
Chaired by Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, the presidium also includes Leung Chun-ying, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference; Tam Yiu-chung, a member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee; Maria Tam Wai-chu, a member of the Committee for the Basic Law of the NPCSC; and Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, convener of the HKSAR's Executive Council.
Lee, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday evening after his return from Thailand, was absent from the plenary session on Monday morning. He co-chaired the following presidium meeting by video.
NPCSC Secretary-General Yang Zhenwu, who came to Hong Kong to preside over the election work, said that the principle of "one country, two systems" has entered a new phase, which creates favorable conditions for having the election run smoothly.
Yang also said that he hopes election members will conscientiously perform duties as prescribed in the nation's Constitution and in the HKSAR Basic Law to elect deputies who are broadly representative of Hong Kong.
He urged the members to firmly uphold the bottom line of safeguarding national security, saying that any action that attempts to endanger national security with this election should not be tolerated.
According to the election method of Hong Kong deputies to the 14th NPC, which was passed in March, each candidate shall be nominated by 15 or more members of the election conference.
The candidates should make a declaration in the registration form to uphold the nation's Constitution and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, support "one country, two systems "and bear allegiance to the country and the HKSAR. They must also declare that they have not received any funds from foreign forces in relation to the election.
Anyone convicted by a court of endangering national security would be disqualified from standing in the election.
Currently, the HKSAR has 36 deputies to the 13th National People's Congress. Tam Yiu-chung, a 72-year-old deputy to the 13th NPC, and also a standing committee member of the 13th NPC, said on Monday that he will not seek reelection this year because of his age.
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