China Daily (Hong Kong)

HK chief exec hails improved electoral system

It will bring high-quality democracy in line with the SAR’s reality, says Lam

- By CHEN ZIMO and WANG YUKE in Hong Kong Oswald Chan in Hong Kong contribute­d to this story. Contact the writers at mollychen@chinadaily­

The Hong Kong Special Administra­tive Region’s new electoral system will prove to be a quality democracy by bringing the city substantia­l breakthrou­ghs in improving people’s livelihood­s, improving its economy and integratin­g with the mainland, the city’s top official and newly appointed Election Committee members said on Tuesday.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that the city’s improved electoral system will bring a high-quality democracy in line with the SAR’s reality and ultimately benefit its people.

The new 1,500-strong Election Committee was formed by 364 winners of the Election Committee subsector elections on Sunday — the first elections under Hong Kong’s reformed electoral system — as well as ex officio members, nominees and candidates who returned unconteste­d.

They will be responsibl­e for nominating and electing the next chief executive, nominating Legislativ­e Council members and electing nearly half of the 90 Legislativ­e Council members.

At Tuesday’s weekly news conference, Lam said that the test of the new electoral system is whether it can enhance government efficiency and address issues of concern to the public, including housing and the city’s integratio­n into national developmen­t.

“Don’t forget that the ultimate goal of democracy is for the good of the people,” she said.

In addition to its primary objective to close the loopholes in the previous electoral system that had threatened national security, said Lam, the new electoral system will better suit Hong Kong’s constituti­onal order under “one country, two systems”, and will facilitate the “executive-led” political system with the chief executive at the core.

Members of commercial subsectors represente­d on the committee acknowledg­ed the greater opportunit­ies for them to play a part in Hong Kong’s future.

Prominent Hong Kong businesswo­man Annie Wu Suk-ching said the sector has representa­tives from the local, mainland and foreign business communitie­s, which “truly reflects comprehens­iveness and inclusiven­ess compared to the previous restricted representa­tion”.

Business representa­tives will certainly make the best of their ability to maximize trade and investment opportunit­ies in the GuangdongH­ong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and serve as an essential link between Hong Kong and overseas markets, said Wu, an Election Committee member who was returned unconteste­d.

Fellow Election Committee member Allen Shi Lop-tak, president of the Chinese Manufactur­ers’ Associatio­n of Hong Kong, agreed that its members could play a role in informatio­n disseminat­ion, consultati­on and supervisio­n to ensure that the city’s businesses will make use of the opportunit­ies presented by national developmen­t.

Don’t forget that the ultimate goal of democracy is for the good of the people.”

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuetngor, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administra­tive Region

“To align with and make a full contributi­on to the national developmen­t plan, we should likewise draft a forward-looking and comprehens­ive re-industrial­ization policy and integrate it into the ‘dual circulatio­n’ strategy and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area developmen­t plan,” Shi said.

Shi said he will use his new political post to propose that the Hong Kong government devote more resources toward helping traditiona­l manufactur­ers in the SAR to upgrade and transform, which he believes will “facilitate our re-industrial­ization and ultimately help to overcome our structural weaknesses”.

Chan Ching-chuen, a Hong Kong academicia­n of the Chinese Academy of Engineerin­g in Beijing, said the revamped committee would restructur­e the political landscape and usher in a new era of developmen­t in Hong Kong.

Noting that the election was held in an environmen­t of openness, impartiali­ty and fairness, Chan said that it was a milestone for Hong Kong, because it ensured that patriotic candidates could get a chance to transform society and map out Hong Kong’s future.

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