Hong Kong's legislature started to deliberate a bill on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday, as various sectors hoped that local legislation can complete as soon as possible so as to implement the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong."
The HKSAR government on Tuesday published in the Gazette the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 and tabled it to the Legislative Council (LegCo) on Wednesday for the first and second reading.
The local amendment came after the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopted on March 30 the amended Annex I and Annex II to the HKSAR Basic Law, which concerns methods for the selection of the HKSAR chief executive and the formation of the LegCo.
The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) said that political disputes and internal conflicts have not ceased since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, which dragged down social development. Coupled with violence and the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has been hardly hit, causing the unemployment rate to surge.
The FTU said there is an urgent need for the community to stand united to vigorously pursue economic development and tackle livelihood issues to get Hong Kong back to right track. The union will fully support the HKSAR government to push forward with the implementation of "patriots administering Hong Kong," hoping the local legislation can enhance governance efficiency, enabling the steady growth of "one country, two systems."
The Hong Kong Coalition said that the bill embodies the core spirit of the NPC's decision to improve the electoral system of the HKSAR and the NPC Standing Committee's amendment of the two annexes to the HKSAR Basic Law. This not only safeguards the country's sovereignty and security, but also returns to the original aspiration and purpose of "one country, two systems."
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) said that they will carefully deliberate specific issues addressed by the bill at the LegCo's Bills Committee to ensure that the bill achieves the legislative purpose of establishing a new electoral system that suits Hong Kong's own conditions and has Hong Kong characteristics, the DAB said.
Yuen Mo, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce of Hong Kong, said that the increase in the number of Hong Kong members represented by primary level, district and national organizations in the new Election Committee, and the redrawing of constituencies for LegCo's direct election, fully demonstrate the principles of broad representation and balanced participation.
Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, vice chairman of All-China Youth Federation, said that the bill balances the voices of different stakeholders in the community, giving Hong Kong a chance to get back on track. All sectors in Hong Kong should seize the opportunity to promote the upgrade and transformation of the economy and play an active role in the country's new economic development pattern of "dual circulation."