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Electoral changes nearer as NPC gives green light

Diana Lee

Monday, August 30, 2010

Arrangements for the two electoral methods in the 2012 elections are expected to face little resistance in the Legislative Council following Saturday's all-clear from the National People's Congress Standing Committee in Beijing.

The committee approved two amendments to the Basic Law which were earlier passed by a two-thirds majority in Legco and approved by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

District council constituency legislator and NPC deputy Ip Kwok-him said yesterday there now appears to be no obstacles to approving the local legislative changes that are necessary.

"These have been discussed for months and a certain degree of consensus has been reached, such as the number of nominees required for a candidate, which should not be less than 10," Ip said.

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Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, whose party voted for the amended political reform package after its "one-person-two-votes" proposal was accepted, agreed.

"We have called for a low threshold for candidates and we are willing to discuss this with lawmakers from different parties," Ho said.

Tsang expressed gratitude for the NPC decision as it signifies the completion of the five-step legislative process for amending the two electoral methods and realizes the aspirations of the whole community to roll forward constitutional development.

"What remains to be done is local legislation on the two electoral methods in 2012 and the abolition of the district council appointment system," Tsang said in a statement.

"I am sure that all parties will spare no effort in pursuing this in the best interests of Hong Kong."

For the Legco election, the seats will be increased from 60 to 70, five of which are for the district council functional constituency and five for geographical constituencies.

For the chief executive election, the Election Committee will be increased from 800 to 1,200.


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