Revamped Electoral System: Hong Kong District Council Elections Amidst Concerns and Revisions
The Upcoming Hong Kong District Council Elections
The Hong Kong District Council elections, scheduled to occur at the end of this year, are set to transpire under a revised electoral system. This restructuring has sparked concerns and discussions surrounding the nomination process and the involvement of the Home Affairs Department in the “Three Meetings”. These meetings include the District Committee, the District Crime Prevention Committee, and the District Fire Prevention Committee. The Democratic Party has voiced apprehensions about the department’s control over the nomination tickets of these gatherings.
Concerns Over Nomination Process
The Democratic Party has suggested that the procedures for candidates seeking nominations could be simplified. One of their key concerns is that the contact information for members of the “Three Meetings” is not readily available online. They contend that making this data public could facilitate a smoother nomination process for interested candidates.
Response from the Home Affairs and Youth Secretary
The Secretary for Home Affairs and Youth, Mai Mei-chun, responded to these concerns, stating that the difficulty in obtaining nominations is not due to the lack of contact information. She emphasized that successful nominations hinge on a candidate’s past work and service in the community and their ability to impress nominators. Furthermore, Mai Mei-chun disclosed that the authorities have now consolidated the “Three Meetings” list and made it searchable online. However, due to privacy concerns, members’ personal information will not be casually disclosed. Should anyone wish to contact the members of the “Three Meetings”, the local Home Affairs Office will forward the message as they act as the secretariat for these meetings.
The Role of “Three Meetings” Members
Mai Mei-chun noted that members of the “Three Meetings” have served in the district for many years, with many being social workers from welfare organizations or school principals. She found it peculiar that certain individuals claim they often cannot locate them. The Secretary also expressed that the authorities would not want anyone to exploit the name of the care team to assist with elections or canvassing votes. To ensure fair practices, the Home Affairs Department has issued guidelines stipulating that the behavior of the care team in any public election must be impartial, and government resources should only be used for the services provided by the care team.
Moving Forward: The District Council Elections
The Secretary for Home Affairs and Youth addressed the concerns over the nomination process for the upcoming District Council elections. She stressed the importance of past community service in obtaining nominations and explained the measures in place to safeguard the privacy of “Three Meetings” members. She also detailed the government’s commitment to ensuring fairness in the use of care teams during the election process. As the District Council elections near, the revised electoral system and its implications for candidates and the voting public will undoubtedly continue to be a topic of discussion and scrutiny.
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