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Monday, December 12, 2016, 15:10

Election Committee poll deemed a success

By Luis Liu
Election Committee poll deemed a success
Poll staffs counting for Election Committee subsector ordinary elections at Airport Expo in Hong Kong on Dec 12, 2016. (Parker Zheng / China Daily)

The election of the 1,200 member 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.

Read more: Results of 2016 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections

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

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 five year 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.

Read more: EC subsector elections facts & figures

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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