Press ahead with Legislative Council General Election to implement "patriots administering Hong Kong"
The Legislative Council General Election of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will be held on December 19. Relevant work on the review of the eligibility of the candidates was completed in accordance with the law yesterday and published in the gazette, kick-starting the electioneering activities in the coming few weeks. A total of 153 candidates will compete for 90 seats to be returned by three constituencies. They will form the Seventh-Term Legislative Council (LegCo) to discharge the constitutional duties of the LegCo from January 1 next year.
I am grateful to the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary for Administration, especially the three non-official members, namely Miss Elsie Leung, Mrs Rita Fan and Professor Lawrence Lau, for conducting a large amount of work in a short period of time and completing scrutiny in a prudent, objective and efficient manner. The 153 candidates come from different backgrounds, hold different political views and have criticised government policies publicly, which is testimony to the diversity and inclusiveness of the improved electoral system. Any candidate having the support of the voters can be elected to enter the political system of the HKSAR to take part in the implementation of "patriots administering Hong Kong".
The other characteristics of the improved electoral system are the broad representation and balanced participation. With objective analysis, one would find that the age, profession, background etc of the 153 candidates are more diverse than those in any previous elections, and there is no so-called "35+" "mutual destruction" organisation or politically-driven competition as in the past elections. I hope that every candidate will compete with the manifesto and solicit the support of voters in a pragmatic manner.
I will continue to urge the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC), with the full support of various departments of the HKSAR Government, to ensure that arrangements are smooth on the polling day. The EAC Chairman, Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah, held an online briefing for candidates yesterday on important points to note in running election campaigns, including rules on election expenses and clean elections. The Registration and Electoral Office is making arrangements to hold a number of training sessions and practice sessions with simulated scenarios for polling and counting staff to ensure a smooth workflow. The Independent Commission Against Corruption held a press conference to remind members of the public relevant requirements in the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance and will mobilise all available manpower to handle suspected illegal behaviours and other incidents speedily on the polling day. The Constitution and Mainland Affairs Bureau is liaising with the Mainland authorities to firm up voting arrangements on boundary control points on the polling day for Hong Kong registered voters in the Mainland and will make announcement as soon as possible. The Information Services Department has strengthened publicity and Radio Television Hong Kong will produce special programmes on the election to appeal to people to vote.
The LegCo is an important institution in the political system of the HKSAR. Governance was continuously disrupted by people with anti-China sentiments in the LegCo, who entered the governing system of the HKSAR via elections. Owing to political infighting, Hong Kong missed a lot of opportunities to give full play to its unique strengths to take full advantage of the development of the country. With the improvement to the electoral system, Hong Kong is back on right track of "One Country, Two Systems" to open a new chapter on good administration and governance. I appeal to registered voters to vote on December 19 for Hong Kong's future.
Ends/Saturday, November 20, 2021
Issued at HKT 20:00
Issued at HKT 20:00