The Democratic Party staged a protest yesterday against the scrapping of the two municipal councils and restoration of appointed seats on district councils. Marching from the Hongkong Bank Building in Central to the Central Government Offices, 16 protesters said the decision was a retrograde step in democracy and administration. The number of appointed seats on district councils will be increased to 102 under the newly proposed District Councils Bill. 'The intention of the Government is to kill democracy and enhance control over district councils by giving seats to pro-government parties,' said provisional urban councillor Kam Nai-wai. Two Democrats, dressed up as Santa Claus, presented slices of pork and biscuits to representatives from the Central Government Offices, symbolising the distribution of appointed seats to pro-government beneficiaries. Protesters issued a mock $100,000 cheque to former Urban Services Department director Albert Lam Chi-chiu, who conducted the consultancy report on replacing the two municipal councils with the Environment and Food Bureau and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. 'Instead of streamlining the old structure, the new proposal will only create redundant bureaucracy,' Mr Kam said.