Source: Xinhua 20-Dec-2021
Original link: http://www.news.cn/english/2021-12/20/c_1310382618.htm
-- The election for the seventh-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR has been held smoothly and orderly after improvement to the HKSAR electoral system.
-- Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), believed that the composition of the new LegCo will be in line with the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" and is broadly representative, which is conducive to the better development of Hong Kong.
-- "Their votes are not only to elect the LegCo members of their choice, but also to support the improved electoral system," HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said.
HONG KONG, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Polls closed late Sunday in the election for the seventh-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the first since improvement to the HKSAR electoral system.
Voting ended at around 11:00 p.m. local time (1500 GMT), about half an hour later than originally scheduled due to technical glitches at some polling stations.
Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam casts vote in south China's Hong Kong, Dec. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)
"I want to express my sincere thanks to the more than 1.3 million voters who cast their ballots today," HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a statement after the polls closed.
"Their votes are not only to elect the LegCo members of their choice, but also to support the improved electoral system. The votes also reflect their expectation for the HKSAR to enhance the effectiveness of its administration, and through this, to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood," she said.
More than 600 polling stations opened at 8:30 a.m. local time (0030 GMT) on Sunday across Hong Kong for 4.47 million registered electors to cast their votes. Voters followed anti-epidemic measures and practiced social distancing on a polling day that was orderly, smooth and safe.
Voters wait to cast ballot at a polling station in Wan Chai of Hong Kong, south China, Dec. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)
Hong Kong people value their votes because they want to elect qualified representatives who are good at bringing tangible benefits for the people and solving Hong Kong's deap-seated problems, said a man in his 30s, who only identified himself as Leung outside the polling station at St. Andrew's Catholic Primary School.
"Hong Kong has been mired in many old problems for a long time. In the past, the LegCo was disrupted by filibustering and unable to do anything, and people have long been tired of it. I hope this election will be a gamechanger," Leung said.
On March 30, 2021, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopted the amended Annex II to the Basic Law of the HKSAR, which sets out in detail the new methods for forming the LegCo to better implement the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong." The membership of the seventh term of the HKSAR LegCo will increase from 70 to 90.
A staff member debugs devices at the media center of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong, south China, Dec. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
In the Election Committee constituency, 51 candidates vied for 40 seats, in the functional constituencies, 67 candidates contested for 30 seats, and in the geographical constituencies, 35 candidates competed for 20 seats.
Leung Chun-ying, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), cast his ballot at the polling station at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
He said the votes would be significant not only in selecting the wise and capable, but also serving as a "no" to the previously stagnant, inefficient LegCo and some of its filibustering members.
He believed that the composition of the new LegCo will be in line with the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" and is broadly representative, which is conducive to the better development of Hong Kong.
Voters leave a polling station after casting ballot in Tsuen Wan of Hong Kong, south China, Dec. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Lo Ping Fai)
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam cast her vote at 9:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) at the Raimondi College polling station.
Calling the election a vote of confidence for the improved electoral system and the future of the HKSAR, she said it will pave the way for safeguarding Hong Kong's long-term peace and stability.
John Lee, chief secretary for administration of the HKSAR government, voted at the Yaumati Kaifong Association School polling station.
He said this election will elect legislators who will do real work for Hong Kong, serve the interests of Hong Kong, and will not betray Hong Kong by becoming "foreign agents."
Staff members are seen at the counting station of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center in Hong Kong, south China, Dec. 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
Financial Secretary Paul Chan and Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng also cast their ballots. They said the very diverse background of the candidates is conducive to making more diverse voices heard, so that the HKSAR government can better promote good governance for the overall interests of Hong Kong.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs of the HKSAR government Erick Tsang, Secretary for Security Chris Tang and Chairman of the HKSAR Electoral Affairs Commission Fung Wah visited polling stations on Sunday and urged the public to vote actively.
The LegCo is the legislature of the HKSAR. The Chief Executive in Council, in accordance with the Legislative Council Ordinance, has specified Jan. 1, 2022 as the commencement date of the seventh-term LegCo of the HKSAR.
The term of office of the LegCo is four years.