In this Oct 20, 2023 photo, residents pass by a giant banner installed by the Hong Kong government as part of its publicity campaign for the 2023 District Council Ordinary Election, which is scheduled to be held on Dec 10. (ANDY CHONG / CHINA DAILY)
Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has predicted that the upcoming 7th District Council elections under the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s improved electoral system will be competitive, with 399 nomination forms having been received following the close of nominations on Oct 30.
And, the goal is to pick the best candidates to ensure they’re capable and sincere in serving the community, Lee said on Tuesday ahead of a weekly Executive Council meeting.
The SAR government will hold a seminar on Tuesday afternoon to explain the city’s district governance system, including the reformed district councils.
Lee said it would be a fierce competition, and no one would get automatically elected. In the district council geographical constituencies, for instance, 171 candidates will have to compete for 88 seats, with an average of about 4 candidates vying for two seats in each constituency
Themed “Improving District Governance, Building a Better Community”, the seminar is expected to be attended by representatives from all walks of life, as well as leaders of political parties, who love the country and Hong Kong.
The nomination period for the district council elections, which will be held on Dec 10, ended on Monday. The returning officers for the 18 district committee constituencies, and 44 district council geographical constituencies have received a total of 399 nomination forms -- 228 for the district committee constituencies and 171 for the district council geographical constituencies.
Lee said it would be a fierce competition, and no one would get automatically elected. In the district council geographical constituencies, for instance, 171 candidates will have to compete for 88 seats, with an average of about 4 candidates vying for two seats in each constituency.
Responding to remarks that the electoral threshold is too high, Lee stressed that the purpose of setting high requirements and improving district governance is to select the best district councilors, and those who’ve failed in the process should work hard to improve themselves.
Under the nomination mechanism, all candidates, regardless of their backgrounds, had to work hard to get nominated, showing the new system would choose the best, he said.
In exercising the right to nominate candidates, the three district committees – the Area Committees, the District Fight Crime Committees and the District Fire Safety Committees – are responsible for assessing whether candidates genuinely love the country and Hong Kong, and are committed to serving the community, Lee said.
He pointed out that the candidates have diverse backgrounds, including those who’ve been rooted in the community for a long time and have rich experience in district work, young people serving the community, ethnic minorities, as well as professionals like doctors, lawyers, engineers and social workers. This reflects the universality and diversity of the city’s new electoral system.
Lee urged members of the public to cast their votes enthusiastically on Dec 10.
The upcoming elections will be the first district-level polls after the SAR improved its electoral system in 2021. The new term district councils will have 470 members who will assume office on Jan 1.
District councils will comprise appointed members, as well as district committee constituency, district council geographical constituency, and ex-officio members. Appointed, DCC and DCGC members will account for 40 percent, 40 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of the total number of members, plus 27 ex-officio members.
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