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1. Name

The name of the body governed by this Constitution shall be The Chinese Liberal Democrats.

2. Definitions

In this Constitution:

" CLDs" means the Chinese Liberal Democrats;

" Friends of CLDs" shall be as defined in Clause 4.2;

"Conference Representatives" means members of CLDs elected to be its representatives at Federal and Regional Conferences;

"Executive Committee" means the executive committee of the CLDs;

"the Party" means the Liberal Democrats; and

"the Party Constitution" means the Constitutions of the Federal Party and of the Liberal Democrats in England.

3. Objects

The objects of the CLDs shall be:

a) to identify the needs and aspirations of the Chinese population living in the United Kingdom;

b) to help the Party formulate policies and strategies which address those needs and aspirations;

c) to campaign and organise literature on behalf of the Party that more effectively reaches the Chinese population in the United Kingdom;

d) to encourage more members from the Chinese community to become politically engaged;

e) to promote and support the values and objects of the Party and in particular through its members;

f) to secure the election of Liberal Democrats as Members of Parliament, UK Members of the European Parliament, members of regional, local and other elected public authorities and other public office;

g) to admit and actively recruit new members to the Party, and encourage existing members to renew their membership;

h) to participate in the formulation of the policy of the Party;

i) to be recognised as an Associated Organization of the Party; to play a full role in the democratic processes of the Party; and to send representatives, in accordance with the constitutions of the bodies concerned, to Party bodies;

j) to play a full part in the campaigning activities of the Party at all levels;

k) to campaign and work with local people to achieve the objectives set out in the Preamble to the Party Constitution;

l) to help all local people, without regard to party or any other factor, to secure their rights and to protect them against oppression;

m) to promote diversity of cultures within the Party and to represent the interests of under-represented groups in the locality.

4. Membership

4.1 All persons shall be eligible to join the CLDs if they are existing members of the Party and agree with the fundamental values and objectives of the Party.

4.2 Associate membership shall be open to those who are not current members of the Party but are nevertheless open to becoming associate members of CLDs ("Friends of CLDs") and shall be entitled to all benefits of membership save voting rights.

4.3 Corporate membership of CLDs shall be open to all formally established associations, business firms or limited liability companies which wish to promote the objects set out in Clause 3 above.

4.4 Prospective members or Friends of CLDs shall declare their membership of political parties and shall inform the Secretary if, after joining, they become a member of a political party which has no formal links with the Party.

4.5 Notwithstanding the above, the Executive Committee of the CLDs shall, subject to a two thirds majority of those present and excluding the President, have power to refuse membership to, or withdraw membership from, any person whose activities are, or have been, in its opinion inconsistent with support of the above objects or whose actions have been in any other way seriously injurious to the CLDs. Any such refusal or withdrawal of membership shall be subject to appeal to the President of the Group whose decision shall be final.

4.6 The annual subscription shall be set by a General Meeting and remain in force until altered. All members and Friends of CLDs shall pay the appropriate subscription. Members who do not renew their subscriptions shall retain their rights as members for three months beyond their renewal date after which time, if no subscription has been received, their membership rights shall be deemed to have lapsed.

4.7 A subscription for lifetime membership of CLD shall be set by a General Meeting and remain in force until altered.

5. Officers and Executive Committee

5.1 The Officers of the CLDs shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair(s), Secretary, Membership Secretary and Treasurer. Their duties shall include:

a) The Chair - to chair all General and Executive Committee Meetings [;in the event of a tied vote the Chair shall have an additional casting vote]; to be jointly responsible with the Treasurer for the CLDs' compliance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000;

b) The Vice-Chair or Vice-Chairs (up to a maximum of 4) - to chair General and Executive Committee Meetings if the Chair is unable to do so;

c) The Secretary - to handle the CLDs' correspondence; to maintain minutes of meetings;

d) The Treasurer - to handle the CLDs' financial business and present financial reports to General Meetings; to be jointly responsible with the Chair for the CLDs' compliance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000;

e) The Membership Secretary - to:

(i) receive all notices of application for membership and refer them to the Executive Committee for acceptance;

(ii) maintain a membership register and provide all Executive Committee members with lists of members as necessary under this Constitution; and

(iii) ensure compliance with data protection legislation.

The Secretary shall not later than [2nd January] and within seven days after any subsequent change notify the names and addresses of all Officers to the Chief Executive of the Federal Party.

5.2 There may be an Honorary President to be elected by the Annual General Meeting.

5.3 The general and financial business of the CLDs shall be controlled and carried on by the Executive Committee, subject to the decisions of General Meetings and in compliance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The Executive Committee shall consist of:

a) the Officers;

b) any other members of the CLDs who may express a wish to join the Executive Committee provided that the maximum number of members of the Executive Committee shall be limited to 12.

5.4 Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be open to members of the CLDs as space permits.

5.5 The Executive Committee may fill any vacancy occurring among the Officers. Any vacancy in the Chair shall be filled from amongst the existing Executive Committee members. The Secretary shall within seven days notify any change of Officers to the Chief Executive of the Federal Party.

5.6 The Executive Committee shall meet at least quarterly and not less than four times in a year. The Secretary shall give at least 7 days notice of meetings to all members of the Executive Committee. One-third of its members shall form a quorum. A meeting may continue without a quorum if no member present objects.

5.7 The Executive Committee may appoint sub-committees for any specified purpose. No sub-committee or Executive Committee member may take action on behalf of the Executive Committee beyond their terms of appointment. All sub-committees shall report on their activities to the Executive Committee and may include persons who are not members of the Executive Committee and may delegate authority to take actions on their behalf.

5.8 In urgent circumstances the Officers may act on behalf of the Executive Committee. They shall report on such actions to the next meeting of the Executive Committee.

6. Election of Officers and Executive Committee

6.1 The Officers shall be elected by and from members of the CLDs at the time of the Annual General Meeting. If an election is contested, there shall be a ballot.

6.2 The term of office of Officers shall be from the 1st January following their election until the following 31st December. They shall be eligible for re-election, save that the Chair shall not serve for more than three consecutive terms, and shall not be eligible for re-election as Chair for two terms after leaving Office.

6.3 Nominations for election shall be invited in the notice summoning the AGM, and shall close at the AGM, but not before the reception of the Chair's and Treasurer's reports. They must be proposed and seconded, and except in the case of nominations made at the AGM shall be in writing signed by the proposer, seconder and candidate.

6.4 Where elections are contested, ballot papers shall be distributed at the AGM, and must be returned to the Returning Officer at the AGM. All contested elections under this constitution shall be by secret ballot by the Single Transferable Vote method in accordance with election rules made under the Party Constitution.

7. General Meetings

7.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be on a day appointed by the Executive Committee, between 1st September and 30th November. The Executive Committee may postpone the AGM if it would conflict with a Parliamentary Election in the Constituency, or for other urgent reason.

7.2 The business of the AGM shall include:

a) to receive a report from the Chair on the activities of the CLDs and the Executive Committee since the previous AGM;

b) to consider and, if thought fit, approve the accounts of the CLDs for the previous financial year together with an independent report on those accounts, and to receive a report from the Treasurer including an outline budget for the following year;

c) to appoint for the current Financial Year (i) Auditors if required by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 or (ii) a person(s) to produce an independent report on the accounts for a General Meeting;

d) to receive reports from the Conference Representatives on the proceedings of the Federal and Regional Conferences since the previous AGM;

e) to transact any other business specified by the Constitution, or directed by the Executive Committee;

f) to consider any motion which has been submitted by any member of the CLDs to the Secretary in time for circulation with the notice of the AGM;

g) to elect Officers, members of the Executive Committee.

7.3 The Secretary shall give all members at least 21 days written notice of the time and place of the AGM. Such notice shall specify all business to be conducted at the meeting.

7.4 The AGM may by a two-thirds majority agree to consider urgent or important business which has arisen since notice of the AGM was given.

7.5 A special General Meeting may be convened by the Officers, or by the Executive Committee; and shall, on receipt of a requisition signed by at least twenty members of the CLDs (or one-fifth of the membership if less), be convened by the Secretary so as to be held within 28 days from the receipt of such requisition. At least 14 days written notice shall be given to all members. The meeting shall only consider business stated in the notice convening it. Failure to convene a validly requisitioned meeting within 14 days shall permit the meeting to be convened on behalf of (and at the expense of) the CLDs by any of the original requisitioners. In an emergency, the Officers may convene a meeting giving such notice as they consider sufficient in the circumstances.

7.6 20 members (or one-fifth of the membership if less), shall form a quorum at any General Meeting. A quorum is not required to receive reports and accounts. A meeting may continue without a quorum if no member present objects.

7.7 Minutes shall be maintained of all proceedings of all General Meetings. Minutes shall also be kept of any meetings of the Executive Committee. In the absence of an Executive Committee member charged with the duty, the Meeting shall appoint a member to take minutes.

8. Finance

8.1 The CLDs' accounting period shall be annual, ending on 31st December each year.

8.2 The Treasurer shall keep, maintain for six years, and pass to his or her successor accounting records which shall be available for inspection in accordance with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

8.3 The Treasurer shall ensure that no donation of over £500 is accepted except from a permissible donor and shall keep records and submit donations reports to the Executive Committee and to Chief Executive of the Federal Party.

8.4 The Treasurer shall annually produce accounts which shall be approved by the Executive Committee and if required by the Political Parties, Elections & Referendums Act 2000 shall be audited and submitted to the Electoral Commission.

8.5 The Treasurer shall submit the accounts of the CLDs together with an independent report to a General Meeting. A copy of the annual accounts shall be sent to the Chief Executive of the Federal Party.

8.6 The CLDs shall maintain one or more bank or other appropriate accounts in the name of the CLDs for which the mandate for withdrawal shall require the signature of at least two Officers who shall not come solely from members of any one family. The CLDs may maintain further accounts for the deposit of money not required for the time being, requiring the same signatures.

9. Constitution and Interpretation

9.1 Amendments may only be made by a two-thirds majority at a quorate General Meeting. No amendment shall be made which conflicts with the Constitution of the Party.

9.2 Details of any proposed amendment shall be sent to all members with the notice of the General Meeting.

9.3 Any member shall be provided with a copy of the Constitution on request.

9.4 In the event of any question of interpretation arising, or any question on which this Constitution is silent, the Executive Committee shall have power to act according to its interpretation of the Constitution.