The Legislative Council (LegCo) General Election will be held on Sunday. This is the first LegCo election after improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). Polls will be conducted for all constituencies with a total of 90 seats, which comprise 40 members returned by the Election Committee, 30 members by the Functional Constituencies and 20 members by the Geographical Constituencies.
This is the first time that there are contested elections in all Functional Constituencies since our return to the Motherland. The age, profession and background of the candidates are more diverse than those in any previous elections, demonstrating the characteristics of broad representation, political inclusiveness, balanced participation and fair competition of the new composition of the LegCo as remarked by Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council and Vice-Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Mr Xia Baolong.
I call on all registered electors to take part in this meaningful and significant election by casting their votes at the designated polling stations between 8.30am and 10.30pm on Sunday. It is our common goal to build a brighter future for Hong Kong and our younger generations.
Since the National People’s Congress (NPC) decided to improve the electoral system of the HKSAR, there have been views expressed by the local and overseas communities on our elections. I wish to remind them that the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly emphasised the latitude given to each state in setting the rules governing eligibility to stand for election and the diversity of possible approaches within the European Union. One of its judgments states that there are “a wealth of differences, inter alia, in historical development, cultural diversity and political thought within Europe, which it is for each contracting state to mould into its own democratic vision”. The United Nations in its resolutions also clearly points out that “there is no single model of democracy” and that “democracy does not belong to any country or region”.
In fact, the Standing Committee of the NPC has fully considered the actual situation in Hong Kong. A new democratic electoral system suited to Hong Kong’s actual situation and with Hong Kong characteristics was therefore synthesised in order to fully implement “patriots administering Hong Kong” and safeguard the overall interests of society and the constitutional order as set out in the Constitution and the Basic Law. The Central Authorities, in exercising the sovereign rights, has a solid legal basis and was also supported by case law to improve the electoral system of Hong Kong.
Pursuant to Annex I of the Basic Law, the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee is responsible for confirming the eligibility of candidates. In other words, all candidates are confirmed in compliance with the legal requirements and conditions for upholding the Basic Law of the HKSAR and bearing allegiance to the HKSAR of the People’s Republic of China. I am confident that all the elected candidates will sincerely serve Hong Kong and pursue the well-being of our citizen. This is the purpose of election and also the true meaning of democracy.
December 16, 2021