We support the government's official publication of the Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments) Bill 2021 and will participate fully in the scrutiny of the Bill within the Legislative Council to ensure its proper and timely passage.
The Bill is pursuant to the Decision of the NPC on improving Hong Kong's electoral system and the NPCSC's amendments of Annexes I and II to the Basic Law. It must embody the principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong", uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests, expand political participation in a balanced and orderly manner with wider representation in Hong Kong society, implement an executive-led government, enhance the effectiveness of the government's governance and enable the government to focus on economic development, improvement of people's livelihood and open up a new horizon for Hong Kong.
We will carefully scrutinise specific issues to be addressed by the Bill at the Bills Committee, including the composition of the Election Committee subsectors, the eligibility of the Legislative Council functional constituencies and relevant bodies and individual electorates; the division of geographical constituencies for direct elections; the method of nomination of candidates and voting; and the composition of the candidate eligibility review committee, etc. We will reflect views of various sectors of society to ensure the Bill can achieve the above legislative objectives and establish a "new electoral system with Hong Kong characteristics and is in line with the situation in Hong Kong".
We also welcome the proposals for improving the public electoral arrangements, including implementing electronic poll registers, setting up a special queue for electors in need, empowering the Chief Electoral Officer to request schools and NGOs receiving government subsidies to lend their premises for setting up polling and/or counting stations in public elections, and enhancing the inspection and compilation of the registers of electors to better protect voters' privacy.
In addition, we urge the authorities to increase the number of staff and mobile registration stations to facilitate voter registration required by May 2 for the Legislative Council elections to be held in December this year.