Five new elected positions will cover new towns Rapid population growth in two new towns has prompted the government to create five more elected seats in two of the 18 district councils. But officials remained non-committal about abolishing appointed seats, saying such an issue should be discussed separately in the coming review of the councils' function. The 20-seat Sai Kung district council is to get three new seats for the expanding residential area in southern Tseung Kwan O. Islands District Council, with only eight seats, has been given two more for the Tung Chung area on Lantau. The increase will bring the number of elected seats from 400 to 405. Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung announced the increase, saying it was in response to projected population growth of 32 per cent and 12 per cent in the Islands and Sai Kung districts respectively. The decision would also keep changes to a minimum when the Electoral Affairs Commission mapped out boundaries for the district polls next year, he added. Seat allocation is currently based on a ratio of around 17,500 people to a seat. Mr Lam said the number of seats in 16 districts would remain, as the projections for those areas stayed largely within the ratio. Despite earlier calls by the democrats to scrap appointed seats, he said the issue should be handled separately. 'We have yet to issue the consultation document on the review of the functions and roles of the district councils. People could give their views on appointed seats when we launch the consultation' Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said the additional seats would provide more opportunities for party hopefuls. He said the party had been developing its power base in Tung Chung and Tseung Kwan O in the past few years, but that it needed careful co-operation with its ally, the Article 45 Concern Group, to avoid a clash in Tseung Kwan O.