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Tung Chee Hwa elected CPPCC vice chairman
www.chinaview.cn 2005-03-13 04:52:48

Tung Chee Hwa (2nd L Front), newly-elected vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attends the closing ceremony of the Third Session of the 10th National Committee of the CPPCC held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 12, 2005. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Tung Chee Hwa, chief executive ofthe Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), was elected vice chairman of China's top political advisory body on Saturday.

    Tung, 67, announced in Hong Kong Thursday that he had officially submitted to the central government his request for resignation from the post as chief executive of the HKSAR for health reasons.

    At the closing meeting of the third annual full session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Saturday afternoon, the 2,110 CPPCC National Committee members present elected Tung to the new post by an overwhelming majority.

    Shortly after the conclusion of the CPPCC National Committee annual session, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in HKSAR sent a congratulatory message on Tung's election, speaking highly of his contribution to Hong Kong and his"sterling character."

    A State Council full-member meeting held in Beijing Saturday afternoon, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, discussed and approved Tung's request to resign from the post of HKSAR chief executive.

    Later Saturday, the head of the Liaison Office in Hong Kong voiced full affirmation and high appraisal of the work of Tung andcalled for the Hong Kong community to work together to safeguard prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.

    "He has made historic contributions to maintaining stability and prosperity in Hong Kong and the cause of 'one country, two systems'," said the liaison office head, citing Tung's "pioneeringwork in successfully practicing the principle of 'one country, twosystems,' 'Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong' and a high degreeof autonomy in Hong Kong."

    The official also praised Tung's leading role in leading the HKSAR government in carrying out the Basic Law in an all-round way,administering according to law, overcoming many difficulties brought about by the Asian financial crisis, changes in the external economic situation and SARS, and coping properly with many complex political, economic and social issues.

    All this helped maintain social stability in Hong Kong and promote the early revival of local economy, he said, expressing his conviction that in the absence of a chief executive in the HKSAR, Hong Kong people from all spheres, social strata and walks of life would more than ever bear the overall situation in mind and make joint efforts to safeguard the hard-won economic revival and social stability in Hong Kong, while doing well all the work relevant to the election of a new chief executive under the leadership of the HKSAR government.

    The Central Government would strictly adhere to the Basic Law in handling affairs related the subrogation of the chief executive,and give an all-out support to Acting Chief Executive Donald Tsangand the HKSAR government in their work to safeguard stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.

    At a press conference in Beijing Saturday evening, Tung said hefelt "greatly honored" and promised to work hard to serve the country on his new post as vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee.

    He thanked the Central Government for approving his resignationafter taking into account his actual conditions, and for the support the Central Government had given him and Hong Kong during his office tenure.

    "I also want to thank once again the citizens of Hong Kong and my colleagues in the HKSAR government for their support," he said.

    Tung expressed the hope that all the Hong Kong citizens would give full support to Donald Tsang, now acting chief executive of the HKSAR, and the HKSAR government.

    Calling Tsang his "old colleague in many years", Tung said he firmly believed that Tsang was of superb competence and would leadHong Kong to keep going ahead.

    Later Saturday evening, a spokesman with the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the national legislature, made an explanation on the remaining office tenure of the HKSAR chief executive after Tung's resignation.

    He said the remaining term would be set in accordance with Articles 45, 46, 53 and Annex I of the Basic Law of the HKSAR.

    According to these provisions of the Basic Law, a new chief executive shall be selected within six months in the event that the office of chief executive becomes vacant, and shall be servingthe remaining period of his predecessor, he said.

    The incoming chief executive, to be selected by the election committee that selected Tung as the second HKSAR chief executive in 2002 to fill the vacancy after Tung's resignation, will remain the second-term chief executive. Therefore, his term of office shall be the remaining part left by Tung, said the spokesman.

    According to related provisions of the Basic Law and a 2004 NPCStanding Committee decision on the methods for selecting the chiefexecutive in 2007 and the formation of the Legislative Council in 2008, he said, the third-term chief executive will be selected in accordance with the methods for selecting the HKSAR chief executive at that time. Enditem

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