Statement on Non-Support of the 2023 Pseudo-Election for District Councils by Elected District Councillors in Hong Kong
In the 2019 District Councils elections, 452 district councillor seats were elected by nearly three million voters, representing over 70% of the electorate. Among them, 388 elected councillors carried the mandate of the Hong Kong people, who supported human rights, democracy, freedom, and the fulfillment of the five demands. They strived for advocating the realisation of these demands in the face of suppression from the authorities. Unfortunately, since then, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Hong Kong government have continuously disregarded the overwhelming public opinion in Hong Kong and unilaterally amended the city’s political system. They even introduced the “National Security Law,” which undermines all the freedoms guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, directly destroying the “One Country, Two Systems” principle.
Under the destruction of the political system by the CCP and the Hong Kong government, most Hong Kong people no longer recognise the legitimacy of the government and the legislature.
Since 2016, all seats in the District Councils, except for the 27 seats in the Rural Committees, have been elected by universal suffrage without any vetting (except for the disqualification of Joshua Wong’s candidacy by the Hong Kong government in 2019). The District Councils are the most representative institution that reflects the will of the Hong Kong people. Moreover, as the District Councils hold representative seats in the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive Election Committee, it possesses actual political power. Over its 40-year history, the District Councils have frequently discussed issues of a city-wide political nature, making it as a whole, a political organisation with legitimate power to represent the rights of the people of Hong Kong.
Under the pretext of “patriots governing Hong Kong” and “depoliticising the District Councils”, the Hong Kong government unilaterally changed the composition of the District Councils elections. The original majority of elected seats, accounting for approximately 95%, were significantly reduced to a mere 20% of 88 seats, with the remaining seats occupied by government-appointed officials and committee members who were not democratically elected. This move has undermined the right to vote for Hong Kong people. They have also introduced candidate vetting and “nomination” systems, where government-appointed and politically biased District Offices and committee members act as gatekeepers, blocking any possible dissenting voices before the elections and eroding the right of Hong Kong people to be elected. The appointment of government officials as District Councils chairpersons, with the executive branch completely overshadowing the council’s structure, along with the previous act of removing District Councils’ representative seats in the Legislative Council and the Election Committee under the guise of “improving the electoral system,” are not only regressive actions but also desecrations of the universal values cherished by the people of Hong Kong – freedom, procedural justice, and democratic systems.
We believe that any participation in this pseudo-election for a District Council whose democracy and legitimacy have been undermined would be an endorsement of a false election and a move against democracy. Therefore, as the last generation of district councilors democratically elected in Hong Kong, we hereby declare that we will not support the so-called “enhanced district governance,” which is essentially an appointed rubber stamp, and all related actions.
Signatories: Last Elected Hong Kong District Councilors
Central and Western District – Hui Chi-fung Ted
Central and Western District – Yip Kam-lung Sam
Central and Western District – Ho Chi-wang Louis
Central and Western District – Wong Kin-Ching Cherry
Wan Chai District – Clara Cheung
Eastern District – Lai Chi-keung
Eastern District – Alice Lee
Yau Tsim Mong District – Lam Siu-ban
Sham Shui Po District – Lee Man-ho
Sham Shui Po District – Yan Kai-wing
Sham Shui Po District – Lau Ka Hang
Kowloon City District – Lee Hin-long
Wong Tai Sin District – Carmen Lau
Wong Tai Sin District – Yau Hon Pong
Tsuen Wan District – Lai Man-fai
Tuen Mun District – Michael Mo
Tuen Mun District – Poon Chi-kin
Tuen Mun District – Tsang Chun-hing
Yuen Long District – To Ka Lun
Yuen Long District – Lee Chun-wai
Yuen Long District – Lai Kwok-wing
Tai Po District – Wu Yiu Cheong
Tai Po District – Chow Yuen Wai
Sai Kung District – Ryan Lee
Sha Tin District – Man Yau
Sha Tin District – Ting Si-yuen
Sha Tin District – Tsang Kit
Sha Tin District – Hui Yui-yu
Kwai Tsing District – Kwok Tsz-kin
Kwai Tsing District – Chow Wai-hung
Kwai Tsing District – Choi Nga-man
(*Due to the universal application of the National Security Law, 4 anonymous last elected Hong Kong district councilors support this joint statement.)
May 2, 2023