LC Paper No. LS 112/98-99
Paper for the House Committee MeetingObject of the Bill
of the Legislative Council
on 5 February 1999
Legal Service Division Report on
Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999
LegCo Brief Reference
- make provision for the second term of office of the Legislative Council, including -
- the number of Members of the Legislative Council ("Members") to be returned for the geographical constituencies and functional constituencies and by the Election Committee;
- the establishment and composition of new functional constituencies and new subsectors;
- adjust the annual cycle for compilation of electoral registers;
- introduce a pilot scheme of advance polling in respect of a general election;
- extend the existing provisions on disqualification from Legislative Council candidature to the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data and the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission and their staff;
- enable the Returning Officer to vary his decision on the validity of nomination of a candidate before election;
- provide for termination of proceedings for an election if, on the general polling day, a candidate is found to have died or is disqualified;
- provide that an election fails or partially fails if a successful candidate is found to have died or be disqualified before the result of election is declared; and
- make other related amendments.
2. CAB C1/30/5 issued by the Constitutional Affairs Bureau on 28 January 1999.
Date of First Reading
3. 3 February 1999.
4. The Bill proposes various amendments to the Legislative Council Ordinance (Cap. 542) and the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance (Cap. 541) to provide a proper legal basis for the second term Legislative Council election to be held in 2000. Details of the proposals are summarised in the LegCo Brief from paragraphs 3-25. Some of them are highlighted below.
Electoral arrangements for geographical constituencies
5. There will be 5 geographical constituencies which will return 24 Members for the second term of office of the Legislative Council. The number of Members to be returned for each geographical constituency is to be a number not less than 4 nor greater than 6.
Electoral arrangements for functional constituencies
6. There will be 28 functional constituencies for the second term of office of the Legislative Council. The number of Members to be returned for each of the functional constituencies at the general election for the second term of office of the Legislative Council will be the same as that at the first general election, that is, 3 Members are to be returned for the labour functional constituency and 1 Member is to be returned for each of the other functional constituencies. Most of them are existing constituencies and opportunity is now taken to update the particulars of the electors for functional constituencies. The Urban Council functional constituency and Regional Council functional constituency established for the first term of office of the Legislative Council will be replaced by 2 new functional constituencies, i.e. the catering functional constituency and the District Council functional constituency. For the new catering functional constituency, it will be composed of holders of food business licences and other named bodies. Names of voters in the existing subsector final register in respect of the catering subsector represented on the Election Committee will be rolled over to the first provisional register for the catering functional constituency. For the District Council functional constituency, it will comprise members of the District Councils. In this respect, Members may note that the District Councils Bill, which is now being scrutinised by a Bills Committee, provides for the establishment of District Councils.
Electoral arrangements for the Election Committee
7. Six Members are to be returned by the Election Committee established for the second term of office of the Legislative Council. Most of the subsectors comprising the new Election Committee are subsectors comprising the Election Committee established for the first term of office of the Legislative Council, except that -
- the Provisional Legislative Council subsector is replaced by the Legislative Council subsector, the eligible voters of which are Members of the Legislative Council; and
- the Hong Kong and Kowloon Provisional District Boards subsector and the New Territories Provisional District Boards subsector are replaced by the Hong Kong and Kowloon District Councils subsector and the New Territories District Councils subsector, the eligible voters of which are members of the Hong Kong and Kowloon District Councils and members of the New Territories District Councils respectively.
8. In facilitating some electors who are unable to vote on the day for general election, the Bill provides for the holding of advance polling for a general election. An elector will be able to apply for voting on the advance polling day or any of the advance polling days which are specified by the Chief Executive by notice in the Gazette.
9. Paragraph 26 of the LegCo Brief says that the Administration has consulted major political parties and many independent Members about the proposals in the Bill.Consultation with the LegCo Panel
10. On 21 December 1998, the Administration consulted the LegCo Panel on Constitutional Affairs about the proposals in the Bill.
11. The Bill contains important proposals for matters relating to the election for the second term of office of the Legislative Council. Members are recommended to form a Bills Committee to study them in detail.
Lam Ping-man, Stephen
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
3 February 1999