Elec­tion Com­mit­tee poll deemed a suc­cess

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUIS LIU in Hong Kong luis­liu@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

The elec­tion of the 1,200mem­ber com­mit­tee for choos­ing Hong Kong’s next Chief Ex­ec­u­tive con­cluded suc­cess­fully in a smooth, peace­ful and open man­ner, the Elec­toral Af­fairs Com­mis­sion (EAC) said on Mon­day.

The pa­tri­otic camp has main­tained its ma­jor­ity in the Elec­tion Com­mit­tee (EC), se­cur­ing about 72 per­cent of the to­tal seats.

En­thu­si­as­tic vot­ers pushed up the turnout rate on Sun­day to a his­toric high of 46 per­cent, sig­nif­i­cantly sur­pass­ing the 27.5 per­cent recorded in the last EC elec­tion in 2011. Some 107,000 from 230,000 el­i­gi­ble vot­ers cast their bal­lots.

Al­most 98 per­cent of the can­di­dates from the city’s two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties — the Demo­cratic Al­liance for the Bet­ter­ment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and Hong Kong Fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions (FTU) — were suc­cess­fully re­turned to the com­mit­tee.

The pa­tri­otic camp took vic­to­ries in other key sub­sec­tors, sweep­ing all the 176 seats from five sub­sec­tors, namely He­ung Yee Kuk (26), the statu­tory ad­vi­sory body rep­re­sent­ing in­dige­nous vil­lagers in the New Ter­ri­to­ries; Cul­ture (15); Whole­sale and Re­tail (18); New Ter­ri­to­ries District Coun­cils (60); and Hong Kong Is­land and Kowloon District Coun­cils (57).

Hong Kong Is­land and Kowloon District Coun­cils was also the sub­sec­tor with the high­est turnout of about 93 per­cent.

A to­tal of 1,239 can­di­dates from 25 sub­sec­tors com­peted for 733 open seats on the com­mit­tee on Sun­day’s polling day, EAC fig­ures showed.

Meet­ing re­porters after the vote count was com­pleted at 2:30 pm on Mon­day, Barn­abas Fung Wah, chair­man of the EAC — the gov­ern­ment body in Hong Kong charged with or­ga­niz­ing of­fi­cial elec­tions — said the polling and count­ing pro­cesses went smoothly.

Ac­cord­ing to the law, mem­bers of the newly formed EC will start ex­e­cut­ing their du­ties on Feb 1, 2017. Serv­ing a fiveyear term, they will be re­spon­si­ble for choos­ing the spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tive re­gion’s top leader in March.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ba­sic Law, Hong Kong’s gov­ern­ing doc­u­ment, and lo­cal elec­tion or­di­nances, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive should be nom­i­nated and elected by a broadly rep­re­sen­ta­tive com­mit­tee, fol­lowed by ap­point­ment by the cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

The fi­nal to­tal num­ber of the new-term EC is 1,194, as six seats are va­cated ei­ther be­cause would-be can­di­dates had been dis­qual­i­fied or one mem­ber is elected in two dif­fer­ent sub­sec­tors.

Each Chief Ex­ec­u­tive can­di­date needs the nom­i­na­tion from at least 150 EC mem­bers to be val­i­dated. The win­ner has to ob­tain at least 600 votes, a ma­jor­ity of the to­tal cast by the com­mit­tee.

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