The ordinance requiring DC members to swear allegiance will come into effect on the 21st of this month. The Hong Kong government has indicated that it will arrange for 479 DC members from all 18 districts to take the oath on the same day as soon as possible, and at least 29 DC members have resigned before taking the oath, for reasons including unwillingness to take the oath, returning scabbard, sentencing to imprisonment for more than three months and health, and four others have indicated that they will not take the oath after the ordinance is passed and are expected to lose their seats. The political sector also predicts that more DC members will resign before the ordinance comes into effect. However, those who are willing to take the oath will still be the majority, because the Democratic Party, ADPL and NDAs all suggest that their members take the oath. It is expected that the situation of the democratic camp dominating the DCs will not change, but the work will face increasing administrative and legal obstacles.
The democratic camp won a big victory in this year’s District Council election, gaining 85% of the seats and dominating 17 of the 18 District Councils in Hong Kong, while disputes between the District Councils and the authorities also increased. For those who accept the oath, they believe that insisting on district work is an important part of gaining public support and is also beneficial to the development of the democratic movement; for those who refuse to take the oath, they believe that staying in office is a compromise, but the space of the DCs has been increasingly narrowed, so they prefer to fight for public opinion in another way.
The former indicated that the Hong Kong government has been suppressing dissidents on all fronts, and has been narrowing the political space in the legislature, but as a district councilor, he must check the government’s administration, only that “I don’t know when not being ‘patriotic and loving the party’ enough has become a crime. ‘ also become a crime.” He did not want to take the oath of self-limitation and censorship, so he decided not to take the oath. He added that the decision also includes personal and family considerations of political risk. As for the horse flag, he said that the political situation in Hong Kong has changed rapidly and drastically, “to ‘swear to support the government’s governance …. National security red line drifting’, non-maqi can agree!”
Before the two, eight district councilors have indicated that they do not agree with the oath and resign, including Lin Mingyi, Lin Shujing, Liu Jiawen, Lian Juezhang, Hu Yaochang, Yuan Hao Lun, Lai Mingze and Wu Zhaokang. The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to the public.
However, the largest proportion of resignations is in the “47-member primary election” by the returned scabbard and can not serve the voters of the District Council members, they have 11 resignation, by the earliest resignation of the Democratic Party Legislative Council members Lam Cheuk Ting and the New Democratic Alliance Fan Kwok Wai, and the most recent resignation is Ng Kin Wai and Cheung Ho Sam. As for those who belong to the “47 people case” but have been sentenced to more than three months in prison for other cases and lost their DC membership as a rule, there are three people, respectively, the former secretary general of the Hong Kong House of Representatives, Wong Chi-fung, former student leader Shum Ao-fai and Yuen Ka-wai.
The pro-establishment camp: the early resignation of pro-democracy DC members is to protect their salaries and allowances
Another three people resigned for health and private reasons, namely Wong Yee, Tony Bi and Eunice Chow. The Kwai Tsing District Councilor Leung Yiu-chung and Kwun Tong District Councilor Leung Kai-ching, who are also former legislators, lost their seats as a rule due to their participation in illegal assembly, which was earlier sentenced to three months in jail.
Secondly, there are at least four DC members who have not resigned, but have indicated that they will not take the oath after the passage of the ordinance, namely Lee Ka Wai, Ho Chi Wang, Wong Man Suen and Choi Chi Keung, meaning that they will also lose their DC membership later.
Comprehensive calculation, the resignation of DC members throughout the 12 district councils, that is, two-thirds of the district councils in Hong Kong are vacant, but the Hong Kong Government has not indicated whether by-elections will be held to fill the vacancies.
In the face of the resignation of dozens of democratic district councilors, the pro-establishment faction in the District Council only sixty seats pointed out another reason for their resignation, in yesterday (12) afternoon debate on the amendment bill of the Legislative Council Assembly, a number of pro-establishment members pointed out that district councilors rushed to resign before the Ordinance came into effect, only to avoid being pursued once the blame and DQ (disqualification) when they have to return the salary allowance.
On the other hand, DC members who accept the oath arrangement and stay in office will be the mainstream. The Democratic Party, which won 91 seats in the 2019 District Council elections, and the New Democratic Alliance, which won 19 seats, decided after a meeting earlier to suggest that the party’s DC members take the oath, but allow DC members to consider it on an individual basis; the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, which has 19 DC members, also indicated that all DC members in the party will take the oath, and some people who do not want to take the oath will therefore resign from the party; as for the Civic Party, which won 32 seats, although there is no explicit provision, according to our As for the Civic Party, which won 32 seats, although there is no explicit provision, but according to our understanding, there will be “more than a dozen” District Council members to take the oath.
In addition, the more radical local faction, there are also district councilors have indicated that they will take the oath, including the “Tin Shui Link” Yuen Long District Councilor Lam Chun and Tuen Mun District Councilor Chu Shun-ah. Lam Chun said that whether to leave or stay in office is a difficult choice, he also thought of resigning “to die to show his will”, but ultimately refused to give up, “I believe that adhere to every possibility, there will always be a moment of dawn in Hong Kong”.
In addition to the democratic district councillors to decide whether to stay or go, the Hong Kong government also has the right to deprive district councillors of their qualifications according to the law, the number is still unknown, but earlier different media quoted sources that many democratic district councillors are charged with crimes in the body or have been arrested, there are 50 to 70 district councillors will be DQ.