The first plenary session of the Conference for Electing Deputies of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to the 13th National People's Congress convenes at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on Nov 22, 2017. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG - The Conference for Electing Deputies of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) convened its first plenary session on Wednesday in preparation for electing 36 deputies to China's top legislature.
The plenary session, attended by 1,462 members of the electoral conference, elected a 19-member presidium, which will preside over the future meetings of the electoral conference.
The 19 presidium members, including HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, as well as two former chief executives, Tung Chee-Hwa and Leung Chun-ying, then held their first meeting and elected Lam as the executive chairwoman of the presidium.
According to a bulletin released by the presidium, the nomination for deputies to the 13th NPC will start on Nov 24 and end on Dec 4. Election for the deputies representing HKSAR to the 13th NPC will be held at the electoral conference's second plenary session on Dec 19.
The presidium bulletin also made clear that Hong Kong residents of Chinese citizenship aged 18 or above are eligible to contest for the candidacy of the NPC deputies. They need to obtain at least 10 nominations from the electoral conference members for their registrations to be effective.
According to the bulletin, the maximum number of the nominees by each electoral conference member will be 36.
Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the NPC Standing Committee Wang Chen called in a speech at the first plenary session for "comprehensively and accurately implementing the 'one country, two systems' principle and ensuring the right direction of the election."
Stressing the central government's "zero tolerance" for "Hong Kong independence" remarks and deeds, Wang said the election for HKSAR NPC deputies must be guided by a strong sense of "one country" and firmly observe the principle of "one country."
"Any attempt to endanger national sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government and the authority of the Basic Law of the HKSAR or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible," Wang said.
The bulletin said, according to NPC deputy election methods, candidates shall declare in their registration forms that they uphold China's Constitution, the HKSAR Basic Law and the "one country, two systems" principle, bear allegiance to China and the HKSAR, and have not received directly or indirectly any form of funds in relation to the election from any foreign institution, organization or individual.
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