The passage of the electoral reform bill means that the three elections to be held in the coming year – the Chief Executive Election Committee elections in September, the Legislative Council election in December, as well as the Chief Executive election in March next year – will be conducted in accordance with the law and will uphold the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong.”
The bill – Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 – was passed at its third reading at LegCo last month.
I believe that improving Hong Kong’s electoral system is not only consistent with the current situation in the city, but also conducive to a stable and orderly business environment. Pragmatic politics is also expected to return in Hong Kong, enabling the city to truly enjoy long-term stability and security.
As the saying goes: “Politics is the process of governing matters of the masses,” and the electoral reforms are relevant to the business sector and society as a whole. One of the key priorities is to reconstitute the Election Committee by giving it two new major functions. In addition to nominating and electing the Chief Executive, the Election Committee will be entitled to elect 40 members of LegCo and nominate candidates for all LegCo members.
In terms of social coverage, the Election Committee is to consist of 1,500 members from five sectors, under which SMEs, grassroots associations and representatives of associations of Hong Kong residents in the Mainland are some of the newly added subsectors.
Such a composition is a true reflection of Hong Kong as a pluralistic society, which will foster a more balanced political participation and broader representation.
The new LegCo will also be expanded to 90 members – the largest number of seats since the handover in 1997. Among the functional constituencies, the number of representatives from the business sector has increased, with Commercial (third) added to the existing Commercial (first) and Commercial (second). This means that the voice of business will continue to be heard clearly within LegCo, allowing us to contribute our input and expertise to help foster economic development and improve people’s livelihoods.
As I said at the Chamber’s AGM recently, I expect Hong Kong will enjoy stability in two aspects: first, the pandemic will stabilise with the number of confirmed cases kept at a low level; second, political stability will be restored following the passage of the electoral reform bill.
I am convinced that this bill will enable the legislature to return to rational discussion. With the executive-legislative relationship engaging in constructive interaction again, we will be able to truly focus on the important task of helping Hong Kong to emerge from the impact of the pandemic and return to growth and prosperity.