Administration's Responses to Points raised on 7 May
by Members of the Bills Committee on
the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999

C1: The Secretary for Financial Services has advised members that the proposals to restructure the banking sector and the securities and futures markets will be implemented within the current LegCo term. To advise the arrangements to be adopted if the delineation of the electorates of the FCs concerned will be affected as a result of the restructuring.

A1: We are consulting the Secretary for Financial Services on this issue and will revert to the Bills Committee soon.

C2: To provide for members' reference papers previously prepared by the Government on the concept of FCs.

A2: Annex II of the Basic Law specifies the method of the formation of the Legislative Council. It provides, among other things, that there will be 30 members returned by functional constituencies in the second-term Legislative Council. Annex II of the Basic Law also provides that the delimitation of functional sectors is to be prescribed by an electoral law. The Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 seeks to provide for the legal basis for the election of the second-term Legislative Council in 2000 in accordance with the Basic Law.

Elections of LegCo members by functional constituencies were first introduced in 1985. The aim of these elections is to ensure that the economic and professional sectors which are substantial and of importance in the community are represented in the legislature, and that they can have the full opportunity to contribute, using their professional qualifications and experience, to the work of the Legislative Council and to the well-being of our community. Extracts of two papers published in 1984 on the Further Development of Representative Government in Hong Kong and of a speech made by the then Chief Secretary on 13 March 1985 are attached at the Annex.

C3: To respond to Members' concern about the Election Committees (EC) referred to in Annexes I and II of the Basic Law respectively, e.g. whether the EC for the second term LegCo (Year 2000 - 2004) and the EC for selection of the Chief Executive in 2002 which has a term of office of five years are the same or not; whether legislative proposals to abolish the second term LegCo EC and replace it with a new EC for the selection of CE in 2002 would contravene the Basic Law, and if the second term LegCo EC is abolished, what arrangements will be in place if a by-election is held for a LegCo Member returned by the EC, etc ?

A3: The Election Committee to be established under the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 is for the purpose of returning 6 LegCo Members in the 2000 LegCo election. It will be established in accordance with Annex II of the Basic Law which sets out the method for formation of the Legislative Council.

Annex I of the Basic Law prescribes the method of selection of the Chief Executive. When we introduce the bill on the selection of the Chief Executive, we will ensure that the relevant provisions of the bill do not contravene the Basic Law.

We note Members' concern about the formation of the Election Committee for electing 6 Members in the 2000 LegCo election. It is our view that the provisions in the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 do not contravene the Basic Law.

Constitutional Affairs Bureau
May 1999