Democrats lose their grip on Kwai Tsing post
Eva Wu and Fanny W.Y. Fung
The Democratic Party yesterday lost its chairmanship of Kwai Tsing District Council to the government-friendly camp after holding the seat for the past two decades.
The defeat might be followed today by the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood losing its domination of the Sham Shui Po District Council's chairmanship.
The Democratic Party nominated Wong Bing-kuen for Kwai Tsing District Council chairman after Chow Yick-hay stepped down. Mr Wong was defeated by Tang Kwok-kong, by 20 votes to 15.
Mr Tang is an ex officio councillor, being the chairman of a rural committee in the New Territories.
The Democratic Party had dominated the Kwai Tsing chairmanship since 1988, when it was first held by veteran member Lee Wing-tat.
Sin Chung-kai, the party's vice-chairman and a legislator, held the post after the handover until 1999, when he was replaced by Mr Chow, who had served in the position ever since.
Mr Sin said it was disappointing to lose the chairmanship, although the outcome was expected.
'We might have had a chance to win if only directly elected members were counted in, but we cannot make it when including the appointed members,' he said.
Mr Sin said the government should seriously consider abolishing appointed district council members.
Meanwhile, the chairmanship of Sham Shui Po District Council, which has long been dominated by the ADPL, is expected to be hotly contested by the government-friendly camp today.
Appointed member Chan Tung is likely to run, while ADPL veteran Tam Kwok-kiu will be fighting to retain his position leading the council.
Meanwhile, vice-chairman of the rural lobby group the Heung Yee Kuk, Daniel Lam Wai-keung, is expected to be elected for the eighth time as the Islands District Council chairman today. Its incumbent vice-chairwoman, Chow Chuen-heung, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, is also expected to win her third term.
Kwun Tong District Council chairman Bunny Chan Chun-bun, also an appointed member, retained the position yesterday.