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Draft decision on improving HK electoral system submitted to China's top legislature for review

(Xinhua)    11:21, March 05, 2021

Photo taken on July 1, 2020 shows the Golden Bauhinia Square after a flag-raising ceremony held by the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Li Gang)

BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- A draft decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was submitted on Friday to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, for deliberation.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, delivered an explanatory speech at the opening meeting of the fourth annual session of the 13th NPC.

Stressing the imperative and importance of improving the electoral system, Wang said the rioting and turbulence that occurred in the Hong Kong society reveals that the existing electoral system in the HKSAR has clear loopholes and deficiencies, which the anti-China, destabilizing elements jumped on to take into their hands the power to administer the HKSAR.

Necessary measures must be taken to improve the electoral system and remove existing institutional risks to ensure the administration of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people with patriots as the main body, Wang said.

The electoral system of the HKSAR, including the methods for the selection of the Chief Executive and for the formation of the Legislative Council (LegCo), must strictly follow and fully reflect the political principle and criterion of the administration of Hong Kong by Hong Kong people with patriots as the main body and provide institutional safeguards for this purpose, he said.

Explaining the overarching approach for improving the electoral system, Wang said the overall design of the system will be centered around the reformation and greater empowerment of the Election Committee of the HKSAR.

The size, composition and formation method of the Election Committee will be adjusted and improved. The Chief Executive will continue to be elected by the Election Committee. The Election Committee will be entrusted with the new function of electing a relatively large share of LegCo members and directly participating in the nomination of all candidates for the LegCo, he said.

A mechanism of qualification review will be established throughout the entire electoral process, he added.

In order to maintain continuity and stability of relevant systems of the HKSAR, the revisions to be made this time in improving the electoral system may be limited to Annex I and Annex II to the Basic Law, without revising its main body, Wang said.

A two-step approach, namely, "decision plus amendment," will be adopted, Wang said, adding that the NPC will make a decision in accordance with relevant laws in the first step, while in the second step, the NPC Standing Committee will amend Annex I and Annex II to the HKSAR Basic Law in accordance with relevant laws and the NPC decision.

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(Web editor: Meng Bin, Liang Jun)

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