22/7/2018-8

Next year’s district board elections are scheduled to be re-encoded in 128 districts. Many double-members are affected. Feng Wei: There is no political consideration.

The district board elections will be held next year. The Electoral Affairs Commission proposes to add 21 seats to 452 seats and re-demarcate 128 electoral districts. Yuen Long has 17 places, followed by Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po and Sha Tin. Many Democrat District Council members have criticized the EAC for unnecessarily redrawing its constituencies, including the removal of its more supportive housing estates or the inclusion of supporters in the establishment to combat the democratic elections. The Democratic Party, Jun Junyu, who is also a member of the Legislative Council, has been drawn away from the semi-private building constituency. The Chairman of the EAC, Mr Fung, stressed that there is absolutely no political consideration for demarcation.

The EAC announced the provisional proposal for the constituency boundary and the name of the 2019 District Council election yesterday. It is proposed to add 21 elective seats to 452 seats, including 4 seats in Yuen Long and 3 seats in Sha Tin and Kwun Tong. Mr Fung said that the EAC would not actively adjust the constituency boundary in principle, but the population of each constituency should be maintained within ±25% of the standard population base (16,599), and the projected population of more constituencies this year far exceeds the permitted margin. Among them, the six constituencies are more than 100% of the standard population base. For example, the Po Tat Constituency in Kwun Tong has exceeded 329%. Therefore, the number of constituencies to be redrawn is also higher than the previous (109).

Population standard base

However, after the rezoning of some constituencies, they were alleged to have not considered the local contacts in the district. Among them, Antai Village and Anda Village in the Andachen Development Zone of Kwun Tong were respectively opened into two new constituencies and two original constituencies. Amway District Councilor Cai Zehong is dissatisfied with the addition of some buildings in Antai Village. The service area will span three villages including Shun Lee, Suncheon and Antai. Another District Council member complained that the scope of the constituency after the demarcation was unnecessarily increased, which undermined the integrity of the constituency and criticized the EAC for recommending “away from the ground".

Feng Wei retorted that “regional service" is not a statutory reason for adjusting the boundaries. Local connections refer to “traditional" connections, such as clans, organizations and market towns in rural areas. As regards the newly-elected and urbanized constituencies, the EAC will mainly consider the geographical location and traffic of the constituency and choose a less-influenced scheme. “If you can talk about it, the three districts will be inaccessible and the other districts will be rewarded." Describes “absolutely,  best (demarcation)… It is convenient to go to one or two seats."

Public consultation started next month

Many District Council members were dissatisfied with the EAC’s unreasonable redrawing of their constituencies, including the removal of their highly supportive housing estates or the inclusion of supporters in the districts to combat the democratic elections. Some of the constituencies such as Kwong Chun-yu, a member of the Yuen Long District, Yuen Long, and Mr. Yang Xue-ying, a member of the Tai Hang District, Wan Chai, and Fan Guowei, a member of the New Democracy Alliance Sai Kung, were also removed. Another new league, Tai Po Baoya District Council member Zhou Hyun-soo, was suggested to increase the original constituency to form a large number of rural areas.

District Connaught, a member of the Lidong (I) District Council who was affected by the demarcation, said that although the change in the boundary has little effect on him, it is not necessary. For example, the population of the adjacent Ap Lei Chau Estate is also below the standard but has not been redrawn. The challenge criteria are different. In addition to the influence of the Democratic Constituency, the constituencies of the DABs, namely the Honourable Members of the DAB, the Honourable CHEUNG Chung-yiu, the Hon.

Feng Wei responded that the primary consideration for demarcation in each district is whether the population change in the constituency is beyond the statutory range, followed by community integrity, local connections, geographical transportation and population distribution. It emphasizes that political factors are absolutely not considered, and the process does not consult local administration. It is not clear what district board members will influence the background after demarcation. The public consultation meeting will be held on August 1st and 3rd, and the consultation period will be closed on the 21st of next month.