Sat, Sep 24, 2005 - Page 4 News List

HK plans to double number of selectors

AP , HONG KONG

Hong Kong's government will propose doubling the number of selectors who choose the territory's leader, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The government will announce a plan next month to add 800 members to a leader selection panel for the 2007 leadership election, the Oriental Daily News reported without identifying sources.

Lawmakers, the territory's members of the Chinese legislature and representatives chosen from various professions and industry sectors make up the current 800 member panel, the report said. Of the 800 new positions, 271 will reportedly be filled from unidentified sectors and 529 by district councilors -- some of whom are appointed, not elected.

The government also wants to expand the size of the legislature from 60 to 70 seats for its next election in 2008, it said. Half of the 10 new seats will be elected, with the rest filled by special interest groups.

Pro-democracy legislators have raised questions about the proposals. One lawmaker said he opposes the plan because it allows more non-elected officials to participate in choosing the chief executive.

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