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Hong Kong turnout high in election committee vote

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

hong kong

Hong Kong saw a significant increase in voter turnout on Sunday in the election of the 1,200-member committee responsible for choosing its next chief executive.

As of 8:30 pm, turnout stood at 39.2 percent, well surpassing the 27.5 percent turnout in December 2011, the last time a committee election was held in the special administrative region. The chief executive will be elected in March, and will assume office about three months later.

More than 230,000 registered voters were eligible to cast their votes at more than 110 polling stations citywide between 7:30 am and 10:30 pm on Sunday. Vote counting will start at midnight and be completed on Monday.

District councils in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon – which was one of the 25 contested subsectors on Sunday – appeared to have the highest turnout, with 92 percent of registered voters.

The Hong Kong Basic Law, the city’s governing document, stipulates that the chief executive should be elected through a broadly representative election committee, followed by appointment by the central government.

Committee members come from four main social sectors, comprising 38 subsectors representing various trades, professions, labor and social welfare groups, as well as district organizations. They serve a five-year term.

On Sunday, 1,239 candidates from the 25 subsectors competed for 733 open seats on the committee, the Electoral Affairs Commission of Hong Kong said earlier.

Some seats were automatically filled earlier this year, including candidates who faced no contest, and ex-officio members of the committee, such as Hong Kong legislators and deputies to the National People’s Congress.

Two ex-legislators were disqualified in November by a court for declining to properly take their required oaths of office, thereby violating the Basic Law. The two also lost their seats on the Election Committee.

Potential chief executive candidates normally announce their bids after a new election committee is formed.

On Friday, the city’s incumbent, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, announced he would not seek re-election, citing family reasons.

The winning chief executive candidate has to obtain at least 600 votes, a majority of the total cast by the committee.

Source by: Internet

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