In this Nov 15, 2023 photo, a woman walks in front of a giant banner installed in Sai Ying Pun 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. (SHAMIM ASHRAF / CHINA DAILY)
HONG KONG – The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region reiterated that the revamped District Council election is lawful on Saturday, a day after the High Court had dismissed a legal challenge to the legality of the new nomination rule.
Under the revised procedure, candidates must secure nominations from three district-level committees to contest in the District Council polls.
“The Court of First Instance on Dec 1 dismissed the relevant judicial review application, holding that the ‘Three District Committees’ nomination requirement is consistent with the Basic Law, which provides robust legal basis for the legality of the District Council election,” a government spokesman said in a statement on Saturday.
The court recognized the government viewpoint that members of the three district-level committees are important stakeholders in district affairs, and that currently there are no other entities or individuals which are more suitable than members of the "Three District Committees" to exercise the nomination rights, said the spokesman.
The court accepted the legitimate aims of the revised nomination requirement, which are full implementation of the guiding principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", ensuring the candidates are recognized by persons familiar with district affairs and the relevant district electors, and enhancing stability across the political spectrum and a better representation of the majority's opinions, added the spokesman.
“The court also held that the "Three District Committees" nomination requirement is a proportionate restriction to the rights to vote and agreed that members of the "Three District Committees" will not exercise the nomination rights arbitrarily,” reads the statement.
The first major citywide election after improving the district governance system and reforming the District Councils is scheduled to be held on Dec 10.
Reiterating that the District Council election for the seventh term District Council is lawful and reasonable, the spokesman termed it as an important election “which fully takes into account the interest of people of each district, which was passed by the Legislative Council unanimously and is popularly supported by people”.
Stressing that the upcoming election is highly meaningful, the spokesman said it will return passionate, capable and responsible District Council members and “will fully serve people in the district, handle issues of public concern such as district hygiene, transportation, cultural and leisure issues”.
“We urge people to actively cast their votes to build a beautiful home together,” added the spokesman.
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