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Legislature to deliberate on HK election improvements

China Daily | Updated: 2021-03-06 06:53
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Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, explains the draft decision on improving the HK electoral system. FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

A draft decision on improving Hong Kong's electoral system was submitted to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on Friday for deliberation.

Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered a speech explaining the draft decision at the opening meeting of the fourth session of the 13th NPC.

Stressing the necessity and importance of improving the electoral system, Wang said the rioting and turbulence that occurred in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region revealed that its existing electoral system has clear loopholes and deficiencies, which anti-China and destabilizing elements took advantage of in an attempt to take into their hands the power to administer Hong Kong.

Necessary measures must be taken to improve the electoral system and remove existing institutional risks to ensure the administration of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people with patriots as the main body, Wang said.

Hong Kong's electoral system, including the methods for the selection of the chief executive and for the formation of the Legislative Council, must strictly follow and fully reflect the political principle and criterion of the administration of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people with patriots as the main body and provide institutional safeguards for that purpose, he said.

Explaining the overarching approach for improving the electoral system, Wang said the overall design of the system will be centered around the reformation and greater empowerment of Hong Kong's Election Committee.

The size, composition and formation method of the Election Committee will be adjusted and improved. The chief executive will continue to be elected by the Election Committee. The Election Committee will be entrusted with the new function of electing a relatively large share of Legislative Council members and directly participating in the nomination of all candidates for it, he said.

A qualification review mechanism will be established throughout the entire electoral process, he added.

In order to maintain the continuity and stability of relevant systems in Hong Kong, the revisions to be made in improving the electoral system may be limited to Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law, without revising its main body, Wang said.

A two-step approach of "decision plus amendment" will be adopted, Wang said, adding that the NPC will make a decision in accordance with relevant laws in the first step, while in the second step, the NPC Standing Committee will amend Annex I and Annex II to Hong Kong's Basic Law in accordance with relevant laws and the NPC decision.


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