Election positions for 156 district advisers

Top News | Staff reporter 13 Apr 2021

A third of district council candidates who lost in the 2019 election have been appointed as advisers to the newly expanded Election Committee.

Government-appointed advisers on district affairs, crime prevention and fire safety will join the 1,500-member committee responsible for electing the chief executive and 40 lawmakers under electoral changes passed by the National People's Congress Standing Committee last month.

The advisers will take up 156 seats in the committee, which has expunged all 117 district councillors.

Among 600 people who lost in the November 2019 district council elections, some 200 were appointed to the various committees last year.

Jennifer Chow Kit-bing of the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, who lost her Wan Chai District Council seat in the polls, was appointed to the area committee of Wan Chai East last year.

She is also a member of Wan Chai district's fire safety and fight crime committees.

Although members of these committees are appointed by the government, Chow said they are still representatives with professional backgrounds and are similar to appointed district councillors in the past.

Another DAB member, Terry Yip Man-pan, who lost his Tuen Mun District Councilor seat, is a member of Tuen Mun district fire safety, fight crime and area committees.

Yip said area committees are like the functional constituencies in the Legislative Council, but representing certain housing estates or sectors.

"Members of the Election Committee have a political responsibility to make Hong Kong move forward in the right direction of one country, two systems," Yip said.

However, current district councillors are always [proposing] mutual destruction and violence or have even committed illegal acts.

"If they are not people who love the country and Hong Kong, how can they serve Hong Kong and the country genuinely?"

Sha Tin district councillor Leticia Wong Man-huen of the Civic Party said those appointed advisers of district committees "sing the same tune" as the government.

Wong also criticized the government for "not respecting the district council election results" and for "refusing to consider the public will."

Meanwhile, Basic Law Committee deputy director Maria Tam Wai-chu said Beijing set out electoral changes to stop Hong Kong from "wasting more time."

Tam added that the city will be relatively peaceful and quiet and have a good political environment after the changes.

Hong Kong must seize the opportunity for its own development, she said on an online forum.

Tam also said the economic development in the mainland has got back on track amid the pandemic and China will be the engine of global economic growth in the future.

The country has "increased its speed to run faster" and Hong Kong should join the country's "reform and opening-up marathon," she said.

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