Administration's Proposed AmendmentsAdvance polling - Clauses 2, 6, 25, 27, 30, 31 and 47
to the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999
Having regard to Members' concern that early release of exit polls results may undermine the fairness and impartiality of the elections, we propose to delete the provisions concerning advance polling in the Bill.
Delineation of FC electorates - Clauses 13 and 42
We propose to adjust the electorates of individual FCs. See the Annex.
Validly nominated candidates - Clauses 20, 25 and 30
Having regard to Members' views, we propose to make amendments to require the Returning Officer of a functional constituency to terminate the election proceedings if he becomes aware of the death or disqualification of a validly nominated candidate after the close of nomination but before the polling day. The Electoral Affairs Commission should then arrange for a by-election.
Nomination lists for geographical constituencies - Clauses 22 and 25
The Bill provides that if the Returning Officer of a geographical constituency becomes aware of the death or disqualification of a validly nominated candidate after he has decided on the relevant list of candidates but before the polling day, he may strike out the name of the candidate from the list and add the name(s) of the surplus nominee(s) to the list to make up the difference. Having regard to Members' suggestion, we will introduce amendments to delete the above provision which allows the Returning Officer to add the name(s) of the surplus nominee(s) to the list and, to make other consequential amendments.
Lists of FC electorates - Clause 42
We propose to move CSAs to re-organize the items in new Schedules 1 to 1E according to alphabetical order.
Religious Subsector - Clause 43
The religious subsector is composed of six designated religious bodies. These designated bodies return a total of 40 members (the exact number of which is determined by the Chief Executive in Council after consultation with the designated bodies) to the EC by way of nomination.
Section 3(3) of Schedule 2 to the LegCo Ordinance provides that if a designated body nominates a number of persons which is greater than the number of seats assigned to it, it has to assign preference to the nominees. The provision is silent on how to deal with the situation where a designated body fails to assign preference to its nominees. Therefore, we propose to move CSAs to provide that if a designated body nominates more persons than the assigned number but fails to assign preference to its nominees, the Returning Officer should determine, by drawing lots, who among the nominees should become members of the EC.
We have consulted all the designated bodies. They have agreed to this proposed amendment.
Establishing a mechanism for updating the Ex-officio membership of the EC - Clause 43
Under the Bill, Hong Kong Deputies to the NPC and members of the LegCo holding office on 30 June 2000 are to become ex-officio members of the EC established for returning six members to the second-term LegCo. Following the practice in the first LegCo election in 1998, if these persons are also registered electors in FCs, they are allowed to decline registration as ex-officio members of the EC if they wish to cast their votes in the FCs.
The Bills Committee has raised concern over this issue. The Committee is of the view that if the registered ex-officio members of the EC are not elected to the second-term LegCo or the next term of office of the NPC, they should cease to be ex-officio members of the EC. We agree that it would be a better arrangement if ex-officio membership actually reflects the actual situation pertaining at any point in time.
We propose to move CSAs to the Bill to provide for a mechanism for updating the ex-officio membership of the EC. We propose that all LegCo members and the Hong Kong Deputies to the NPC holding office on 30 June 2000 should be registered as ex-officio members of the EC. Those ex-officio members who are also registered FC electors will be allowed to choose to vote either in the FC or the EC. Once they have made their choices, they will vote in the EC or FC according to their choices if there are any by-elections in the future.
When there are subsequent changes to the membership of the LegCo or the Hong Kong Deputies to the NPC, we propose that the names of those who no longer hold either of those offices should be removed from the final register of the EC. The names of those newly elected to the new term of the LegCo or the NPC will be added in the register. If there is any overlapping between the membership of the LegCo and the Hong Kong Deputies to the NPC, the ex-officio seats falling "vacant" will not be transferred to the CPPCC subsector.
Transitional Provisions - Clause 45(1)
At the Bills Committee's request, we propose to amend clause 45(1) to add "For the avoidance of doubt, it is declared that".
The Chief Executive to specify dates - Sections 4, 6, 7, 10 and 44 of the Legislative Council Ordinance and Sections 12 and 18 of Schedule 2 of the Ordinance
Having regard to the suggestion made by the Legal Adviser of the Legislative Council, the wording which says that the Chief Executive must "by notice published in the Gazette" specify a date for holding an ordinary election etc. has changed to the wording that the Chief Executive must "determine a date and give notice of that date in the Gazette" in the District Councils Ordinance. We propose to make consequential technical amendments to the Bill so that the wording of the corresponding provisions of the Legislative Council Ordinance and the Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 is consistent with that of the District Councils Ordinance.
Agriculture and fisheries functional constituency - Clause 13
The word "Federations" appears in the new provision 20B(a)(viii) should be "Federation". We propose to make an amendment.
Hong Kong and Kowloon District Councils subsector - Clause 43(t)
The word "urban" appears in the new provision 8(7A)(a) should be "Hong Kong and Kowloon". We propose to make an amendment.
Consequential amendments to the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance
Paragraph (b) of Part II, Schedule 1 of the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance sets out the circumstances under which a person is disqualified from becoming a member of the Electoral Affairs Commission under Section 3(5)(e) of the Ordinance. When the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance was enacted, the Legislative Council Ordinance has not yet been passed. Therefore, as a transitional arrangement, the relevant provisions made references to the provisions of the repealed Electoral Provisions Ordinance. As the Legislative Council Ordinance has now been passed, we suggest that the relevant provisions should make references to the provisions of the Legislative Council Ordinance instead of those of the repealed Electoral Provisions Ordinance.
- Section 2
As the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance no longer makes reference to the "Selection Committee", we propose to delete the definition of "Selection Committee".
- Paragraph (b) of Part II, Schedule 1
Consequential amendments to the Societies Ordinance - Section 2
In Section 2 of the Societies Ordinance, "ordinary election" is still used to refer to the general election of the Legislation Council. We propose to update it to "general election" to tie in with the term used in the present Legislative Council Ordinance.
Constitutional Affairs Bureau
CSAs relating to the Delineation of FC Electorates proposed by the Administration
I. Addition of Constituents
Agriculture and Fisheries FC
|Shatin Ah Kung Kok Fishermen Welfare Association
||This body is an eligible elector as provided for in the existing LegCo Ordinance. The Bill seeks to remove it because its registration with the Companies Registry has been cancelled. As it has subsequently been registered as a society under the Societies Ordinance, we recommend reinstating it as an elector in the FC.
|Hong Kong Airport Authority
||The Airport Authority is at present an eligible elector in the Commercial (First) FC. In view of the nature of its business, we agree to include it in the Transport FC.
|Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL)
||HACTL is at present an eligible elector in the Industrial (First) FC. In view of the nature of its business, we agree to include it in the Transport FC.
|Hong Kong Container Freight Station Association
||This Association was established in May 1994, with 33 companies as members at present. Its members jointly handle 80% of Hong Kong's container freight station cargoes. We agree to include it in the Transport FC.
|Hong Kong Tunnels and Highways Management Company Limited
||The Transport Department has awarded a new contract for managing the cross-harbour tunnel to this company. It is our policy that operators of tolled roads and tunnels should be included as eligible electors in the Transport FC. We therefore propose to include this company.
|The Hong Kong Sea Transport Association Ltd.
||This Association was established in 1994, with about 110 members at present. It is a representative body in the field of marine transport. We agree to include it in the Transport FC.
Wholesale and Retail FC
|Hongkong Kowloon New Territories & Overseas Fish Wholesalers Association Limited
||This Association represents freshwater fish wholesalers at the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market (Phase I) and the Western Wholesale Food Market. Of the 40 members of this association, 30 are at the Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market (Phase I), representing about 80% of the wholesalers there. The remaining 10 carry out businesses at the Western Wholesale Food Market, representing 20% of the wholesalers there. We propose to include members of this Association.
|Cheung Sha Wan Poultry United Wholesalers Association Ltd.
||With 18 voting members at present, this Association represents over 80% of the wholesalers at the Cheung Sha Wan Temporary Wholesale Poultry Market. It has close contact with the Agriculture and Fisheries Department on matters relating to the chicken wholesale trade and the management of the market. We propose to include members of this Association.
Sport, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC
|International Federation of the Phono-graphic Industry (Hong Kong Group)
||Members of the Group are already eligible electors in the FC. The Group has transformed itself into a limited company. It requests that its name as shown in the Bill be changed to "International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Hong Kong Group) Limited". We propose to accept this request.
Textiles and Garment FC
|The Hong Kong General Chamber of Textiles Limited
||This body has about 220 members at present which are mainly textiles manufacturers and exporters. At present, this body is an eligible elector. When we introduced the LegCo Bill into the PLC in 1997, our intention was to include members of this body as electors. This proposal was dropped because this body was only established in early 1997 and its members had been members of the body for less than 12 months at that time. They therefore could not satisfy the "12-month rule". As they now can satisfy this requirement, we propose to include its members as electors.
II. Removal of Constituents
|Hong Kong Gold Coast Transportation Company
||This company has ceased operating licenses ferry services. We therefore propose to remove it from the Transport FC. We have consulted this company. It does not indicate objection.