Hong Kong to oversee ‘patriots only’ access to district councils
Hong Kong, Apr 25 (EFE).- Hong Kong’s chief executive announced Tuesday that the future governing bodies of the city districts will be made up of patriotic members and that only some seats will be popularly elected.
John Lee said this would prevent legislators who seek the territory’s independence from holding office.
Lee said he “would not allow District Councils to become a platform for advocating Hong Kong independence.”
He said municipal-level entities had to be completely depoliticized and run by the administration, adding that a review of district councils is “nearing completion.”
Authorities said these bodies are an important part of the administration and would retain seats chosen by vote, but always among people who love the country and Hong Kong.
Lee did not specify how many positions would be chosen at the polls and how many by direct appointment.
It is expected that the next elections to choose these municipal organizations will be held at the end of this year.
In 2019, the pro-Democratic bloc swept the Hong Kong district council elections, winning 388 of the total 452 councilors in dispute amid the protests that hit the special administrative region in those months.
However, many of the elected councilors resigned in 2021 after authorities tried to force them to take an oath of allegiance to the Hong Kong government under the National Security Law imposed by Beijing.
Others were removed for oaths deemed invalid, and as a consequence, of the 479 seats in the current legislature, more than 300 have been left vacant.
The Hong Kong leader said two-thirds of those elected in the 2019 elections had been disqualified or resigned due to legal problems in the past two years.
He added that he would not allow this to reoccur or make parliament a platform to promote Hong Kong’s independence or any act that goes against the city’s special constitution. EFE