District Councils of Hong Kong

Council reform plan under fire

Appointed seats on district councils may become a thing of the past by 2016 under a government proposal, after one-third of the 102 seats were abolished last month.

Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am

What district votes mean to Hong Kong

District council elections, involving 412 seats in 18districts across Hong Kong, will take place this Sunday.

Here we take a look at the history and development of the district council since colonial rule.

The district council: who, what, when?

3 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Reform plans spark outrage

The news

On September 14, Stephen Lam Sui-lung, former secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, announced a new plan for the Hong Kong district council election.

1 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

District poll fight heats up

Growing political awareness and activism, along with the birth of new political parties, means Hong Kong is likely to face keenly contested district council elections in November.

Voters will elect 412 councillors, the largest number in the almost three decades since the district administration system was set up - and they will have more choice than ever in each seat.

13 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

No democratic merit in appointing councillors

The appointment of 102 district councillors by the chief executive yesterday highlights how far our city still has to go before its political system becomes fully democratic. This practice, which has its roots in the colonial era, is inherently undemocratic and should be scrapped when reforms take place.

15 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

Democrats may lose more sway

The pan-democrats will lose further influence in the district councils if Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen appoints the more than 100 councillors he is entitled to name.

The chief executive is entitled to appoint 102 people to the 18 district councils for four-year terms. There are 405 elected members.

26 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

The big issue no councillor wants to discuss

Campaigning for the district council elections is in its final stages, as voters go to the polls this Sunday. Some people have complained that the elections have been overshadowed by the more glamorous Hong Kong Island Legislative Council by-election.

16 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

25 years after first district polls, doyens decry the flaws

Local councils still haven't advanced democracy, say veterans

To the governor of the day, they were recognition that districts' problems could not be dealt with by the colonial government alone. To Lau Wong-fat, the district boards and their successors, the elected district councils, are 'fake democracy' at work.

8 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

An easy way to improve the political system

Contrary to appearances, district councils have an important place in the evolution of political participation in Hong Kong. Their predecessors, the district boards, were established 25 years ago amid debate about the city's future, when negotiations leading to the Sino-British Declaration of 1984 had only just begun.

8 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Power block

Parking facilities for bikes in Tseung Kwan O, the allocation of stalls in a Shamshuipo jade market and the planting of trees in Wan Chai are among the issues in districts that are deemed trivial. But when it comes to people-based governance, they're matters that count.

12 May 2006 - 12:00am

A breeding ground for leaders

While an increase in the number of seats for the district councils in the future legislature is still just a rumour, the increase in their responsibility, according to Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's first policy address, is for real.

13 Oct 2005 - 12:00am

How to fix a system of snakes and ladders

Following publication of the government's consultative paper on the role of advisory and statutory bodies, and in light of public discussions on constitutional change, it is timely to examine the role of advisory boards and committees. How is it that there are so many and how did the system evolve?

9 Feb 2004 - 12:00am

District appointees

The government has appointed the maximum 102 members to Hong Kong's 18 district councils. The pro-democracy camp had strongly opposed such a move, saying a large number of appointments would dilute its election victory in November and fuel anti-government sentiment. The government says most appointees are not members of political parties and were named for their professional skills.

28 Dec 2003 - 12:00am

Backward step

With nominations for next month's District Council elections under way and with attention focused on what the likely impact of the huge protest on July 1 will be, it is appropriate to recall that the elections, as they exist, represent not a move towards the full democracy promised in the Basic Law - but just the opposite.

10 Oct 2003 - 12:00am

Glory without power

WHEN THE Government scrapped the two elected municipal councils in 1999, it came under intense fire for what was described as 'a great leap backward for democracy'.

9 Jul 2001 - 12:00am