GOVERNMENT & NPCSC

On 4 December 2013, the Government published the “Consultation Document on the Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2016”, the public consultation was 5 months long. If you wish to read the full document, please visit http://www.2017.gov.hk/en/home/

On 15th July 2014, the Chief Executive submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress his report on whether there is a need to amend the methods for selecting the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2017 and for forming the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2016. Concurrently, the Government published the Report on the Public Consultation on the Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive in 2017 and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2016.
(See report: http://www.2017.gov.hk/en/npcsc/index.html)

On 31st August 2014, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress decided on Issues Relating to the Selection of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by Universal Suffrage and on the Method for Forming the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in the Year 2016.
(See Decision: http://www.2017.gov.hk/filemanager/template/en/doc/20140831a.pdf)
(Deputy Secretary General of the NPC Standing Committee Li Fei Speech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-TXjnO3Ew4&feature=youtu.be)

On 7th January 2015, the Government published the Consultation Document on the Method for Selecting the Chief Executive by Universal Suffrage and launched a two-month public consultation on the method for selecting the Chief Executive by universal suffrage. (Consultation document: http://www.2017.gov.hk/en/second/document.html

 

For the 1st round of consultation – 

(I) Size and Composition of the Nominating Committee

5.01 The current EC is formed by 1 200 members from four sectors.

As regards the size and composition of the NC, we may consider:

(i) should the existing composition framework of the four sectors in the EC be followed when designing the composition of the NC? (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/ Forum Q4)

(ii) should the total number of NC members remain at 1 200, the same as the current EC, or should it be increased / decreased? (See Decision Tree Part 2 Q1/Forum Q4)

(iii) should the NC be composed of the 38 subsectors of the existing EC, or should there be an increase or decrease of the number of subsectors? (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/Forum Q4)

(iv) if the total number of NC members is to be increased, how should the newly added seats be distributed among the four sectors? (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/Forum Q4)

(v) if the total number of NC members is not to be increased, should the distribution of seats among the four sectors remain unchanged? (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/Forum Q4)

(II) Electorate Base of the Nominating Committee

5.02 If the composition of the NC makes reference to the composition of the current EC, should the electorate base of the existing subsectors be maintained without the need for major changes? If the electorate base of the existing EC is to be further enlarged, how to enlarge the electorate base of the NC?

(III) Method for Forming the Nominating Committee

5.03 If the NC is to be composed with reference to the composition of the current EC, for the subsector elections of the NC in 2017, we may consider:

(i) should the existing voting, nomination and ex-officio arrangements of the subsectors be maintained? (See Decision Tree Part 4 Q2/ Forum Q7)

(ii) if new subsector(s) is / are to be added, what kind of system should be adopted by the subsector(s) to return its / their members?

(IV) Procedures for the Nominating Committee to Nominate CE Candidates

5.04 Article 45 of the Basic Law and the Decision of the NPCSC in 2007 provide for CE candidates to be nominated by the NC in accordance with democratic procedures (i.e. the so-called “organisational nomination” or “collective nomination”), as distinct from the current model of election by the EC whereby individual EC members may jointly nominate candidates.

5.05 Issues to be considered regarding the procedures of nominating E candidates include:

(i) how should the NC nominate CE candidates in accordance with “democratic procedures”? (See Decision Tree Part 5 Q1,2,3,5,6,7/Forum Q6)

(ii) how could the “democratic procedures” reflect the requirement of “organisational nomination”? (See Forum Q6)

(iii) how many CE candidates should the NC nominate? (See Decision Tree Part 5 Q4,5)

(V) Voting Arrangements for Electing the CE by Universal Suffrage

5.06 As regards the method of universal suffrage after the nominating procedures, we have to consider:

(i) should only one round of election be held (for example, the candidate with the highest number of votes is to be elected, without having to obtain more than half of the total number of valid votes)? (See Decision Tree Part 6 Q3)

(ii) should we require a candidate to obtain more than half of the total number of valid votes in order to be elected (for example, if no candidate could obtain more than half of the total number of valid votes in the first round election, two candidates with the highest number of votes would proceed to the second round election, and the candidate with the highest number of votes in the second round would be elected)? (See Decision Tree Part 6 Q5,6/Forum Q2)

(iii) should other voting methods, such as preferential elimination system or instant runoff system be considered? (See Decision Tree Part 6 Q6)

(iv) should an election be required to be held if there is only one candidate? (See Decision Tree Part 6 Q 4/ Forum Q1)

(VI) Procedures for Appointing the CE and the Linkage with Local Legislation

5.07 To take account of a situation whereby the elected CE candidate were not appointed by the Central Authorities before 1st July, should we amend the existing CEEO to provide for a mechanism for re-election? (See Forum Q10)

Method for Forming the LegCo in 2016

(I) Number of Seats and Composition of the LegCo

5.08 Should the number of LegCo seats be capped at 70 without major changes or, subject to conformity with the principles of the Basic Law, should the number of LegCo seats be further increased?

5.09 If the number of LegCo seats is to remain at 70 without any change:

(i) should the half-and-half ratio between Members returned by FCs and Members returned by GCs remain unchanged?

(ii) if the ratio is to be adjusted, what level should it be adjusted to?

5.10 If the number of LegCo seats is to be increased:

(i) what should be the total number of seats?

(ii) how should the new seats be distributed?

(a) should the half-and-half ratio of Members from GCs and FCs be maintained and the new seats be distributed evenly?

(b) if the half-and-half ratio of Members from GCs and FCs is not maintained, should more of the new seats be allocated to FCs (such as the DC (Second) FC) or GCs?

(II) Composition and Electorate Base of Functional Constituencies

5.11 Should the electorate base of FCs be enlarged?

(III) Number of Geographical Constituencies and Number of Seats in Each Geographical Constituency

5.12 Regardless of whether the number of LegCo seats in 2016 would be increased, we may consider:

(i) should the existing number of GCs be adjusted?

(ii) should the upper and lower limits of seats returned by each GC be adjusted?

 

For the Second Round of Consultation

(I)      Composition and Formation Method of the Nominating Committee

For the composition and formation method of the Nominating Committee (“NC”), the following may be considered:

Subsectors

  • On the basis that the NC shall be composed in accordance with the 38 subsectors in four sectors of the existing Election Committee (“EC”), whether the subsectors of the NC should follow the relevant arrangements of the existing EC and remain unchanged, so as to forge an early consensus; or (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/ Forum Q4)
  • provided that there is sufficient support, introduce new subsectors in the NC to increase the representativeness of those groups which are not sufficiently represented in the existing 38 subsectors; (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/Forum Q4)

Number of members of each subsector

  • if the number of subsectors is not to be increased, whether the number of members in each subsector of the NC should follow the number of members in each subsector of the existing EC and remain unchanged; or (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/Forum Q4)
  • if new subsectors are to be added, how should the distribution of seats in the existing subsectors be adjusted; (See Decision Tree Part 3 Q1/Forum Q4)

Electorate base of the Nominating Committee

  • the electorate base of all subsectors should remain unchanged; or
  • make appropriate adjustments to the electorate base of certain subsectors, provided that there is sufficient support and that such adjustments are practical and practicable, are conducive to electing persons who could genuinely represent respective subsectors, and that the wishes of such subsectors are respected. (See Decision Tree Part 4 Q2/ Forum Q7)

(II) Procedures for the Nominating Committee to Nominate Chief Executive Candidates

For the procedures for the NC to nominate CE candidates, the following may be considered:

Stages of nomination and threshold (See Forum Q3)

  • whether the nominating procedures of the NC shall be divided into two stages, namely the stage of “members recommendation” and the stage of “committee nomination”;
  • if the nominating procedures are to be divided into two stages, considering that the existing arrangement of named nominations jointly by 150 members of the EC is simple, easy to understand and has been proved to be effective, whether persons who have obtained recommendation from 150 NC members shall be allowed to seek nomination at the stage of “members recommendation”; or whether the requirement be appropriately lowered to 100 NC members;
  • at present, CE candidates may be nominated by EC members, and each EC member may nominate only one candidate, but there is no limit to the number of nominations a candidate could receive. To provide sufficient choices for the NC to consider, whether there should be a limit for recommendations, i.e., each NC member shall only recommend one person who seeks nomination; and depending on whether the recommendation threshold is 100 or 150, whether there should be a cap on the recommendation each person seeking nomination could obtain;

Transparency of the nominating procedure

  • since the NC will act as an institution when exercising its power to nominate CE candidates, whether there is a need to convene any plenary meeting of the NC so as to conduct nomination of candidates, and to provide an appropriate platform for persons seeking nomination to have equal and adequate opportunities to explain their manifestoes and missions to all the members of the NC or even the public in order to seek their support; (See Decision Tree Part 5 Q1,2,3,5,6,7/Forum Q6)

Specific nominating procedures (See Forum Q3)

  • whether the number of CE candidates could be either two or three, i.e., the three persons seeking nomination and obtain the highest number of endorsement of more than half of all the NC members could formally become candidates; if only two of the persons seeking nomination could obtain endorsement of more than half of all the NC members, such two persons will formally become candidates, and there will be no nomination of a third candidate; (See Decision Tree Part 5 Q4,5)
  • the existing EC adopts a secret ballot in electing the CE-elect. If the NC adopts the method of voting to nominate CE candidates, whether open or secret ballot should be adopted;
  • to facilitate the NC to nominate at least two but no more than three candidates who are able to obtain endorsement of more than half of all the members of the NC from the persons seeking nomination, whether the NC should adopt the “one person, three votes”, “one person, two to three votes”, “one person, maximum three votes”, “voting on each person seeking nomination”, or other procedures to select two to three candidates; and
  • how to handle the situation if no person seeking nomination can obtain endorsement of more than half of all the NC members, or only one such person is able to obtain endorsement of more than half of all the NC members. (See Decision Tree Part 6 Q 4/ Forum Q1)

(III) Voting Arrangements for Selecting the Chief Executive by Universal Suffrage

When the CE is elected by universal suffrage, all eligible electors of Hong Kong could elect the CE-elect by “one person, one vote” from the two to three candidates nominated by the NC. We may consider the following voting arrangements:

  • to adopt the voting arrangement commonly adopted in other public elections, i.e., the “first-past-the-post” system, only a single round of voting will be held; or(See Decision Tree Part 6 Q3)
  • to adopt a two-round voting system, i.e., if no candidate could obtain more than half of the total number of valid votes in the first round voting, the two candidates with the highest number of votes would proceed to the second round voting, and the candidate with the highest number of votes in the second round would be returned; or (See Decision Tree Part 6 Q5,6/Forum Q2)
  • to adopt other voting systems, such as the instant runoff system or supplementary vote system.(See Decision Tree Part 6 Q6)

(IV) Other Related Issues for the Selection of the Chief Executive by Universal Suffrage

  • We suggest considering whether the term of office of the NC shall follow the existing arrangement of the EC, i.e., a five-year tenure; or the term of office of the NC shall terminate upon the swearing in of the CE it has nominated.
  • In considering the re-election arrangements if the CE-elect returned by universal suffrage were not appointed by the Central People’s Government, we suggest that the existing Chief Executive Election Ordinance (Cap.569) (“CEEO”) should include provisions for a re-election in such circumstances. (See Forum Q10)
  • For the political affiliation of the CE, since there is currently no law on political parties in Hong Kong, and different sectors of the community have yet to arrive at a clear consensus on the subject, we suggest that, for the CE election in 2017, the requirement under the existing CEEO that the CE should not have any political affiliation should be maintained. (See Forum Q8)