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Over 1,000 nominations for committee

By LI BINGCUN and CHEN SHUMAN in Hong Kong | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-08-13 09:52
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Photo taken on July 14, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, July 14, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

First HK election under new system to feature patriotic, pragmatic candidates

The weeklong nomination period for Hong Kong's reshaped 1,500-strong Election Committee ended on Thursday, with over 1,000 nominations received for the election's 40 subsectors.

Political analysts said the election, the first under the city's revamped electoral system, had attracted a lot of patriotic and pragmatic candidates, laying a good foundation for the city's future development.

The committee will be tasked with the new roles of electing 40 lawmakers and nominating all lawmaker candidates, in addition to its long-standing mission of nominating and electing the city's chief executive.

The Candidate Eligibility Review Committee will review the eligibility of all candidates for the Election Committee, to examine whether they uphold Hong Kong's Basic Law and bear allegiance to the special administrative region. The results of the review will be announced on Aug 26.

Elections will be held on Sept 19 for subsectors where the number of candidates is greater than the number of seats, with at least six subsectors in that category.

Veteran political scientist Lau Siukai, the vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said the reshaped Election Committee offers competent patriots a chance to exercise their talents, leaving no room for anti-China activists who aim to disrupt the city for their own political ends.

He said most candidates aim to tackle deep-seated social and economic problems, such as housing, rather than focusing on political issues as in previous elections.

Lau said the participation of patriotic and pragmatic candidates will ensure the new Election Committee functions well in electing the city's leader, which will help Hong Kong scale new heights.

Paul Yeung, senior research officer at the One Country Two Systems Research Institute, a Hong Kongbased think tank, said the expanded Election Committee includes more subsectors to achieve balanced representation. He said he expected committee members would be down-to-earth and have frequent communication with residents.

Henry Ho Kin-chung, founder and chairman of the One Country Two Systems Youth Forum, said the nomination has seen the participation of many patriotic civic leaders who are aspiring to serve the community.

If they were elected, he said he hoped they would take the responsibility of nominating and electing the city's leader seriously, as that would show to Hong Kong residents and international society that the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" would help elect competent talent to fuel the city's development.

Before the nomination period ended, more representatives from the technology, healthcare and sports sectors submitted their forms.

Fifteen candidates for the technology and innovation subsector were nominated by the Greater Bay Area Association of Academicians, an alliance formed by Hong Kong academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering.

"The new election system offers Hong Kong academicians a rare chance to voice their suggestions for the city's development," said Chan Ching-chuen, one of the six conveners of the alliance.

He said he hoped Election Committee members in the technology subsector would proactively put forward suggestions to advance the level of innovation and technology in the city, and help it seize chances from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area blueprint.

Lo Chung-mau, chief executive of the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, filed a nomination for the health services subsector on Wednesday. He said that if elected, he would encourage more healthcare cooperation between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong by electing capable lawmakers.

Two influential figures in the sports sector submitted nominations for the sports, performing arts, culture and publication subsector after playing roles at the recently completed Tokyo Olympics. They were Pui Kwan-kay, who headed the Hong Kong delegation at the Games, and Li Ching, the coach of the Hong Kong women's table tennis team that won a bronze medal in Tokyo.

Chloe Xu contributed to this story.

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