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Sunday, December 11, 2016, 18:28

Hong Kong: Election Committee vote under way

By Shadow Li

Hong Kong: Election Committee vote under way
A woman and her daughter walk pass a polling station at Wah fu Estate on Dec 11, 2016 when members of 25 subsectors representing various trades and professions choose their representatives for the Election Committee which will elect Hong Kong’s next chief executive next year. (Parker Zheng/China Daily)

HONG KONG – Voting is underway as members of 25 subsectors representing various trades and professions are choosing their representatives for an Election Committee which will elect Hong Kong’s next chief executive in 2017.

In today’s voting, 1,239 candidates from 25 electoral subsectors are vying for 733 seats on the 1,200-member Election Committee.

Hong Kong’s Basic Law stipulates that Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region should be elected through a broadly representative Election Committee and appointed by the Central People’s Government.

The Election Committee members serving a five-year term come from four big sectors, comprising 38 subsectors representing various trades, professions, labor and social welfare groups as well as district organizations.

1,239 candidates from 25 electoral subsectors are vying for 733 seats on the 1,200-member Election Committee

A total of 461 members of the committee have already been automatically elected this year, including those who faced no contest from 13 subsectors and ex-officio members of the committee, such as legislators and Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC).

The remaining six seats of the 1,200-member committee are either null or vacated for various reasons.

Two ex-legislators were disqualified in November by court for declining to take the required Legislative Council (LegCo) oaths accurately and solemnly and thus violating the Basic Law. The two also lost their seats on the Election Committee.

Three other lawmakers are also Hong Kong deputies to the NPC at the same time.

And the Electoral Affairs Commission invalidated the nomination of one of the 18 candidates for the Import and Export subsector, which is entitled to 18 seats. In the end, 17 candidates in the subsector were elected uncontested, leaving one vacancy. And there is no legal requirement to arrange another election for such vacancy in any subsector of the Election Committee.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying , who is an eligible voter in the Architectural, Surveying and Planning sector, cast his vote Sunday morning.

VOTING

Chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission Barnabas Fung Wah said around 5:30 pm that the commission received 16 complaints, most of which involve canvassing.

This year, more than 230,000 registered voters are eligible to cast their ballots at more than 110 polling stations citywide, between 7:30 am and 10:30 pm.

As of 5:30 pm Sunday, the turnout rate was 29.13 percent, with 67,524 votes cast.

Ballots will be delivered to the central counting station at Asia World-Expo to be counted, once the polls close.

stushadow@chinadailyhk.com

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