The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong voiced support for the National People's Congress (NPC)'s approval to improve Hong Kong's electoral system, saying such reform is justified and progressive, and will promote the city's long-term stability and prosperity.
Chinese lawmakers voted on Thursday to adopt a decision on improving the electoral system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) at the closing of the fourth session of the 13th NPC, the country's top legislature, in a move to fix the loopholes in local governance.
A spokesperson of the office said that the decision has unchallenged authority from the NPC, based on the development of the "one country, two systems" policy, and aims to better HKSAR's electoral system from the constitutional level. The decision is also progressive as it expands the number of members of the Election Committee and seats of the LegCo.
This has guaranteed orderly and balanced political participation in Hong Kong society and safeguarded Hong Kong residents' democratic rights, according to the spokesperson, noting that after the electoral reform, the city will walk out of its long-existing "political swamp," and solve its deep-rooted problems and conflicts.
Hong Kong society has been paying close attention to Hong Kong-related proposals at the NPC, said the spokesperson. It is not only officials that have voiced firm support for the central government's decision, ordinary residents also launched an online petition to implement "patriots governing Hong Kong and support for improving Hong Kong's electoral system."
HKSAR's Chief Executive Carrie Lam expressed gratitude towards the NPC's approval on reforming Hong Kong's electoral system, saying the HKSAR will provide advice on their views on the composition of the five sectors of the Election Committee, with a view to ensuring that the committee fulfills its requirements of being broadly representative and reflecting the overall interests of Hong Kong society.
The Hong Kong Research Association on Wednesday published a survey among 1,008 Hong Kong residents aged above 18, showing that 78 percent of the respondents believe that "patriots governing Hong Kong" will help the implementation of "one country two systems," while 69 percent support the NPC's decision.
Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said on Thursday that she welcomes and supports the decision, describing it as a "no time to delay" action. She said the Hong Kong government will fully cooperate and implement follow-up work, including explaining the decision to the public, and putting together local legislatures as soon as possible.
Cheng said that the Hong Kong government is also making sure elections in the coming 12 months go smoothly.
Hong Kong's Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung also said that there will be multiple elections in the 12 months to come, so the central government's measures to fix the current loopholes in Hong Kong's election system are desperately needed.
All the Establish lawmakers in Hong Kong supported the NPC's decision.
The spokesperson from the liaison office said that the central government has taken a great deal of care on bettering Hong Kong's electoral system, and hopes people from all walks of life in the city will give their advice on local legislation work, and become united to make sure "one country, two systems" moves steadily and further.