RURAL district board seats held by right of position elsewhere will be reinstated, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Suen Ming-yeung said yesterday. The move was criticised by Democrats as a reward for Heung Yee Kuk members supporting the scrapping of the municipal councils. Mr Suen told more than 300 provisional district board members that ex-officio district board members would be reinstated. There were 27 such members before the handover. Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Leung Chi-yan said the posts of vice-chairmen would be established and elected for each district board. The number of appointed members would be increased. Mr Leung expected the main legislation on the district board elections would be passed in February and all subsidiary legislation in July. Voter registration will start on December 18.