Administration's Responses to Points raised on 12 May
by Members of the Bills Committee on
the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999

C1: According to recent press reports, one of the designated bodies of the Religious Subsector of the EC might not wish to take part in the election. To advise the role played by the Government in case of disputes among these bodies and whether the composition of the Religious Subsector will be affected.

A1: We have met the six religious bodies to exchange views on the arrangements regarding the Religious Subsector of the Election Committee. We will revert back to the Bills Committee if any legislative amendments to the relevant provisions are required.

C2: To review the drafting of section 1(9) and (10) of Schedule 2 to the LCO. A member is of the view that these sections provide no legal basis for the existing arrangement to allocate any unused quota of EC seats arising from a person being a member of both the LegCo and the NPC.

A2: We have reviewed the drafting aspect of the provisions and come to a view that they are capable of dealing with that situation. In fact, in the 1998 LegCo election, a few vacant seats did arise from overlapping membership between the PLC and the NPC, and were dealt with satisfactorily.

C3: In relation to the issue of LegCo members becoming ex-officio members of the EC, to respond to a member's suggestion that when there are no incumbent LegCo members, the persons holding office as LegCo Members during the previous term shall be deemed to be ex-officio members of the EC.

A3: The Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 provides for the electoral arrangements for the second term LegCo. For the purpose of electing 6 members of the second-term LegCo in 2000, we consider it appropriate to specify in the electoral law that LegCo members holding office on 30 June 2000 are to become ex-officio members of the Election Committee.

Constitutional Affairs Bureau
May 1999