The Conference for Electing Deputies of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to the 11th National People’s Congress (NPC) convened its first session here Thursday in preparations for electing new-term deputies to China’s top legislature.
Vice chairman and secretary-general of the NPC Standing Committee Sheng Huaren, who flew from Beijing to Hong Kong, chaired the first plenary session held here Thursday at the Hong Kong Convention and Conference Center.
In a keynote speech at the plenary session, Sheng said the first session of the electoral conference signified the official beginning of the election of the HKSAR deputies to the 11th NPC, which is to convene in Beijing to elect new state leaders and discuss state affairs this March.
“Ten years after Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, Hong Kong people have not only become the master of the HKSAR, but also master of the country,” Sheng said. “We can participate in the administration of HKSAR affairs with a high degree of autonomy while electing our deputies to participate in the administration of the state affairs.”
Sheng said the election is of great importance to the implementation of the principles of “One Country, Two Systems,” Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy as well as the Basic Law.
“The election is also a guarantee for Hong Kong people’s participation in deliberation and administration of state and HKSAR affairs,” Sheng noted.
Sheng said he believed those outstanding persons in HKSAR who love both Hong Kong and the country, adhere to the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” and strictly abide by the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR will be elected into the country’s top legislature to represent HKSAR.
Moreover, the election will proceed by giving full play to democracy, and in an open, fair and just manner, he noted, stressing that he believed that members of the electoral conference will live up to the expectations of the public in Hong Kong and fulfill their task.
Following Sheng’s speech, 988 members of the electoral conference voted for and five voted against the composition of the15-member presidium, with 27 abstentions. And 14 other members attending the electoral conference did not cast their votes.
The 15 members of the presidium are: Kenneth Ting Woo-shou, Lee Cho Jat, Li Ka-shing, Jose Yu Sun Say, Yu Kwok-chun, Alice Cheng, Tsui Tsin Tong, Kennedy YH Wong, Leung Chun-ying, Tung Chee-hwa, Donald Tsang, Tsang Hin Chi, Andrew Liao Cheung-sing, Tam Yiu- chung and Poon Chung-kwong.
The presidium, which will preside over the future meetings of the electoral conference, then held its first meeting, during which HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang was elected executive chairman of the presidium and Lee Cho Jat as the spokesman.
According to a bulletin released by the presidium, the nomination period for deputies to the 11th NPC will be accepted between Jan. 5 and 16 and election for 36 deputies representing HKSAR to the 11th NPC will be held on Jan. 25.
The presidium bulletin also made clear that Hong Kong residents of Chinese citizenship aged 18 or above are eligible to contest for the candidacy of the NPC deputies. They need to obtain at least 10 nominations from the total 1,231 members of the electoral conference for their registrations to be effective.
According to the bulletin, the maximum number of the nominees by each electoral conference member will be 36.
The electoral conference will hold its second plenary session on Jan. 25 and 36 deputies representing HKSAR to the 11th NPC will be elected to replace 36 Hong Kong deputies to the tenth NPC, whose term will expire in March.