The requirement for societies to register with the Government has been retained despite strong public criticism. Under present laws, societies need only notify police. The new laws require any society to register within one month of establishment. Societies deemed a threat to national security, or defined as political bodies with links to foreign political organisations, will be refused permission to register. The definition of political bodies has been narrowed to 'political parties or organisations of which the principal function is to promote and prepare candidates for elections'. But the definition does not cover the election of Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress. 'We did not cover this as we are not legislating for the Chinese Government,' said Principal Crown Counsel Benedict Lai Ying-sie. 'There will be other Chinese laws covering it.' The definition had originally included groups that are directly taking part in elections to the three tiers of government and are commenting on public affairs. Administrative guidelines will be devised to enable societies which are not sure whether they would be regarded as political organisations to seek advice from the Societies Officer. His ruling would stay for as long as the societies maintained the objectives prevailing when the ruling was made.