CHINA / POLITICS
HKSAR govt lays out local law amendment, elections following national legislation
Published: Mar 30, 2021 06:41 PM
Hong Kong file Photo: VCG

Hong Kong file Photo: VCG


 
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Chief Executive Carrie Lam disclosed on Tuesday that the city will hold elections for the expanded Election Committee in September, while Legislative Council (LegCo) elections will be held in December.

Other follow-up arrangements based on the national legislature’s approval of Hong Kong’s electoral reform plan have also been announced, showing the determination and efficiency of the SAR government, analysts said. 

Lam made the announcement at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon, after the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee passed amendments to Annexes I and II of the Basic Law of the HKSAR, paving the way for Hong Kong’s electoral system overhaul. 

The current LegCo will operate until mid or late October, while elections for the new LegCo will be held in December, Lam said.

The LegCo election had been previously scheduled for September 2020, but was postponed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Lam pointed to three areas of work that will follow – public communication, local legislation, and arrangement of elections. The HKSAR government aims to submit a draft in mid-April on local law amendments, and the amended bill is expected to be passed by the end of May and voters registered by June, she said. 

Lam stressed earlier on Tuesday that the electoral system reform does not mean uniformity of candidates. Under the premise of "patriots governing Hong Kong" and upholding the Basic Law, people with different political views can still participate in the election.

Lam told Hong Kong media that initially, the credentials committee of the Election Committee will not have many members. It will be made up of several principal officials of the SAR, who are trusted as members of the governance team and appointed by the central government.

Lam noted there is no universally applicable democratic system in the world as the constitutional order must be considered first. She stressed that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of China under "one country, two systems,” and that requires people in the political system to be patriots, which is the prerequisite for Hong Kong's democratic system.


Global Times 

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