60-member HK Legislative Council elected
The outcome of the election for the third term of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) was announced Monday morning and the 60 candidates have been elected as the members of the new Legislative Council.
The new Legislative Council will practice the duty entrusted by the Basic Law during its four-year term which will start from Oct. 1, 2004.
The voting for the election lasted 15 hours Sunday. About 3.2 million people from geographical constituencies were registered as electors. The turnout rate reached 55.63 percent and 1.784 million people cast their ballots.
About 199,500 people were registered as electors for the functional constituencies and 134,900 voters, or 70.14 percent, cast their ballots.
Both the number of voters and the turnout rate have set a record in Hong Kong's election history.
The Legislative Council is Hong Kong's legislature. The third term Legislative Council will be composed of 60 members, with 30 returned by functional constituencies and another 30 by geographical constituencies through direct elections.
A total of 159 candidates have been validly nominated for the LegCo election. Of which, 11 candidates have been elected unopposed in 11 functional constituencies to the Legislative Council. The remaining 49 members of the third term LegCo were elected on Sunday.
The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China, stipulates that the method for forming the Legislative Council shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress.
The Basic Law stipulates that the ultimate aim is the election of all number of members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage.
The difference of the second term LegCo and third term LegCo is that the number of members returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections rose from 24 to 30, accounting for half of the all LegCo members.
The raising of the number of the directly elected members is believed to be a milestone of Hong Kong's constitutional development according to the Basic Law. The current election is believed to be the most democratic election in Hong Kong's history.
Before Hong Kong's return to the motherland in 1997, the members of Hong Kong's LegCo were appointed by the British HK authorities.
A total of 3.2 million Hong Kong residents were registered for geographical constituencies election, up 4.97 percent over that of in 2000. And 199,500 were registered as electors for functional constituencies election, up 13.63 percent over that of 2000, record numbers in Hong Kong's history.
To ensure an open and fair election, the election is prepared, implemented
and monitored by an independent body -- Electoral Affairs Commission.