November 18th, 2007 02:06 EST
Voters in Hong Kong cast their ballots
Voters in Hong Kong started to cast their ballots in 488 polling stations on Sunday morning to elect the third-term district councils of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).
The voting began at 7:30 a.m. and will end at 10:30 p.m. Results of the election are expected to be announced early Monday morning.
"District councils are closely linked with the interests of Hong Kong people and also serve as an important bridge between the government and the people," said HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang after casting his ballot, calling on voters to actively turnout for the election.
Hong Kong has 18 district councils and the third-term district councils are composed of 534 members, including 405 elected members, 102 appointed members and 27 ex-officio members.
The city is divided into 405 district council constituencies and each constituency will return one district council member. All Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above who are ordinarily residing in Hong Kong are eligible to register as electors.
The district council election adopts the first-past-the-post voting system. The candidate who receives the largest number of votes will be elected.
The functions of district councils include advising the government on matters affecting the well-being of the people in the district and the use of public funds allocated to the district for local public works and community activities.
Where funds are made available, a district council will also undertake environmental improvements and the promotion of recreational and cultural activities as well as community activities.
The term of office for the third-term district councils will start from Jan. 1, 2008 and end on Dec. 31, 2011.
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