Hong Kong publishes bill on improving electoral system
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Tuesday published a bill on improving the electoral system in the Gazette.
The draft law, the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021, was released in Hong Kong after revisions at the state level finished at the end of March.
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopted on March 30 the amended Annex I and Annex II to the HKSAR Basic Law, which concerns methods for the selection of the HKSAR chief executive and the formation of the Legislative Council (LegCo).
A government spokesman said it is incumbent upon the HKSAR government to implement the new electoral system that accords with the actual situation in Hong Kong by way of local legislation.
The bill will be introduced into the LegCo for the first reading and second reading on Wednesday.
The government will fully complement the work of the LegCo in scrutinizing the bill to strive for its early passage so as to kick start the extensive preparatory work for the elections, the spokesman said.
Three major elections of the Election Committee, the seventh LegCo and the sixth chief executive will be held on Sept. 19, Dec. 19, 2021 and March 27, 2022, respectively.
As Hong Kong was gripped by electoral chaos last year, HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the HKSAR government will take action against illegal activities of manipulating or disrupting elections this time.
Citing the so-called "primary election" last year as an example, Lam said such subversive activities of conspiring to take control of the legislature and force the chief executive to resign went against the independent choice of voters.
The bill to be delivered mainly comprises six areas, including reconstituting the Election Committee, providing for the method for selecting the chief executive, updating the composition and formation of the LegCo, and the candidate eligibility.
Improving the electoral system can ensure that Hong Kong stays true to the original aspiration in implementing the principle of "one country, two systems" and get Hong Kong back on the right track, the spokesman said.
It is only by putting in place institutional safeguards to ensure "patriots administering Hong Kong" that the principle of "one country, two systems" can be fully and faithfully applied in the HKSAR, which is conducive to Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability, he added.
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