Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong, south China, March 11, 2021. Carrie Lam and the governing team of the HKSAR government Thursday expressed support for and gratitude to the passage of the decision on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR by the National People's Congress (NPC). (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam and the governing team of the HKSAR government Thursday expressed support for and gratitude to the passage of the decision on improving the electoral system of the HKSAR by the National People's Congress (NPC).
Lam said in a statement that she and the HKSAR government will offer full cooperation in facilitating the relevant amendments to implement the new electoral system suited to the realities in Hong Kong.
She said that having considered the realities in Hong Kong, the central authorities take the initiative from the national level to improve the electoral system of the HKSAR, aiming to ensure that Hong Kong can stay true to the original aspiration in implementing the principle of "one country, two systems" and get Hong Kong back on the right track.
It is only by putting in place institutional safeguards to ensure "patriots administering Hong Kong" that the principle of "one country, two systems" can be fully and faithfully applied in the HKSAR which is conducive to the long-term prosperity and stability of the HKSAR, she said.
Lam said the HKSAR government fully supports the fundamental principles adopted in the decision for guiding amendments to Annex I and Annex II. She and the HKSAR government will render full cooperation in facilitating the amendments, and press ahead with the necessary amendments to the relevant local electoral legislation thereafter.
"We will conduct and regulate election-related activities in accordance with the law efficiently, so as to implement the new electoral system that accords with the actual situation in Hong Kong," she said.
Lam noted that the expanded and broadly representative Election Committee which should reflect the overall interest of Hong Kong is the core element of the improvement to the electoral system. The reconstituted election committee will not only nominate and elect the chief executive, but also be endowed with the new function of nominating candidates for the Legislative Council (LegCo) election and electing some of the legislators.
The HKSAR government will provide the Standing Committee of the NPC (NPCSC) with its views on the composition of the five sectors of the election committee, she said.
Lam said the decision also stipulates the establishment of a qualification review mechanism for the different elections of the HKSAR to provide a robust systemic safeguard for implementing the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" in Hong Kong's political system.
It is only when the offices of the chief executive, election committee members and LegCo members are filled by determined patriots can the full and resolute implementation of "one country, two systems" be ensured; national security, sovereignty and development interests of the country be safeguarded; and Hong Kong's long-term stability and prosperity be maintained, she added.
Lam said she will lead the governing team to dutifully ensure the full and resolute implementation of the principle of "one country, two systems", administer Hong Kong according to the rule of law, safeguard the constitutional order of the HKSAR as defined under the Constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law, safeguard the country's sovereignty, security and development interests, and ensure the overall stability of Hong Kong.
"I firmly believe that, after the principle of 'patriots administering Hong Kong' is fully implemented and loopholes of the existing electoral system are plugged, we will be able to resolve the problem of the LegCo making everything political in recent years and effectively deal with the reckless moves or internal rift that have torn Hong Kong apart," she said, adding that it will allow Hong Kong to leverage its unique advantages to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood with the staunch support of the central authorities.
Lam said the HKSAR government will spare no effort in continuing to explain to the public about the necessity and urgency of improving the electoral system as well as the solid constitutional basis of the decision.
Upon the passage of the amendments to Annex I and Annex II to the HKSAR Basic Law by the NPCSC, the HKSAR government will enact the needed local legislation as soon as practicable, and conduct the relevant elections efficiently in light of the actual circumstances in Hong Kong, she said.