2019 Hong Kong District Council elections
UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 20.3 (quote - bold format added):
"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
Significantly Hong Kong (HK) District Council seats are the ONLY universal and equal suffrage democratic elections in HK!
HK is a feudal Chinese plutocracy. The 70 seat Legislative Council (LegCo) is polluted by 30 Functional Constituency seats which, undemocratically and unequally, hands the minority of HK elites a majority in LegCo for them to change rules and procedures, and pass legislation, budgets, etc as they please! In 2017 Carrie Lam was "selected" to be Chief Executive by a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) approved 1,200 member selection committee. She received 777 votes which equates to only 0.1% of HK's population. In 2007 CCP announced the Chief Executive would be elected by Universal Suffrage; this was repealed by CCP in 2013 which lead to Occupy - Umbrella movement.
The Will of HK people has spoken with the results of the 2019 District Council elections, and under HK's UN obligations and the Joint Declaration the Will of HK people MUST be the basis of the authority of the HK government.
The 2019 District Council election has effectively been a "referendum" on the actions of the authoritarian CCP and HK Government versus upholding the protesters' demands for the Joint Declaration's high degree of autonomy, the rule of law and democracy by universal and equal Suffrage and their 5 demands. Overwhelmingly the latter prevailed!
With 85% of seats (388/452) and 17/18 Districts controlled by pro-democratic District Councillors the clear winners are the pro-democratic majority of HK people which includes protesters and their 5 demands. Each pro-democratic candidate included in their manifesto the protesters' 5 demands. To date, after six months of massive public peaceful protests and rallies the HK Government has only agreed to one of the five demands!
The 2019 Hong Kong District Council elections were held on 24 November 2019 for all 18 District Councils of Hong Kong, being the sixth election held since the 1997 handover. 452 seats from all directly elected constituencies were contested out of the 479 seats in total. Nearly three million voted, equivalent to 71% of registered voters, breaking records in HK electoral history. The election was widely viewed as a referendum on the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
The pro-democracy camp achieved its biggest landslide victory in the history of Hong Kong, seizing control of 17 of the 18 District Councils and tripling their seats from around 124 to about 388. The pro-democrat faction was also able to capture 117 District Council subsector seats in the 1,200-member Election Committee, which is responsible for electing the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
Pro-Beijing parties and independents won only 62 seats, a loss of more than 242 seats.
All pro-Beijing parties suffered major setbacks, while the flagship pro-Beijing party Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) received its largest defeat in history, losing nearly 100 seats.
Dozens of prominent pro-Beijing heavyweights lost their campaigns for re-election, including Junius Ho, a controversial key anti-protest figure. Ho had expressed support for the triads behind the mob attack in Yuen Long MTR station on 21 July 2019.
Wikipedia states the 2015 Hong Kong (HK) District Council (DC) elections were held on 22 November 2015. Elections were held for all 18 District Councils, returning 431 members from directly elected constituencies after all appointed seats had been abolished. A record-breaking 1.4 million voters, or 47% of the registered voters, went to cast their votes. The pro-Beijing camp retained its control of all 18 councils with the Beijing-loyalist party and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) cemented its place as the largest party, far ahead of other parties.
The result of the Will of the majority of HK people choosing the Joint Declaration and democracy over the authoritarian CCP and HK Government puts into context the CCP and HK Government's actions since the start of mass protests against the proposed extradition legislation on 9 June 2019 including the violence and brutality of the HK Police.
In particular, the recent violent sieges of HK public funded Chinese University and Polytechnic University, both of which Chief Executive Carrie Lam is the Chancellor, just a few days before the District Council elections were particularly repulsive to HK's pro-democratic majority.
The Will of the HK people has been expressed in universal and equal suffrage 2019 District Council elections for democracy and the Joint Declaration's high degree of autonomy.
HK's Government has no choice but to change because it is no longer competitive. It is neither meeting the needs of the majority of HK people, nor the Joint Declaration's high degree of autonomy. As HK's political system changes from a plutocracy into a democracy so the entire system of governance has be overhauled based on global best legislation, policies and practices based on open, transparent and accountable government.
As excellent start for District Councils is to get back all of the powers the Urban Councils had until 1999.
HKFP reported "Kong Kwai-sang is a Lee Cheng Uk constituency district councillor with the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood who was re-elected on Sunday. He said that when the government abolished the Urban Council in 1999, it did not keep its promise of handing on some powers to the District Council.
Urban Council had extra powers, including the independent oversight of finances and lands rights, making them influential bodies where elected councillors were effectively able to govern district policies. But after the Urban Council was abolished, the administrative powers were transferred to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, the Highways Department and the Lands Department.
“We need to push forward more reforms in the hopes of turning the District Council from an advisory body into a municipal body with real power,” Kong said.
For instance, Kong said District Councils can install a public hearing [complaints] system so that residents can directly participate in district affairs, as well as other measures to strip power from district government officials by amending the District Councils Ordinance.
“I welcome all suggestions,” he said. “We need to start the discussion now. Four years is not a long time.”
Next is also restructuring HK's political system in line with the Joint Declaration's high degree of autonomy must continue:
Legislative Council (LegCo) elections in September 2020 must be by universal and equal suffrage. LegCo must be 100% Geographic constituency seats which means the current 30 Functional constituency seats must be scrapped - something the CCP and HK Government will not want to do because they will lose control to the pro-democratic majority
Chief Executive elections in 2022 must be by universal and equal suffrage
HK protesters’ five demands are:
Implement as soon as possible democratic universal and equal suffrage elections for Chief Executive and LegCo (the most important demand);
Establish an Independent Inquiry of Police;
Drop all charges against protesters, release the arrested persons and guarantee no political retaliation (amnesty);
Retract the characterization of the protests as “riots”;
Withdraw the extradition bill through formal procedures. (This bill has now been formally withdrawn in LegCo, 23rd October 2019)
A referendum in effect draws a line connecting the "dots" together - the dots include the 5 demands. The referendum lays the framework for the resolution of the 5 demands, for example:
We need universal and equal suffrage democratic elections for our Political Leader and for the Legislative Council consisting of only Geographic Constituencies (most important demand)
Amnesty for all across the board (which pardons protesters, Police and others)
Couple the Amnesty with Judge-led Independent Inquiries into the HK Government and the Police operations. Findings will, within a democratic system, ensure the development of governance and the rule of law to meet the needs of HK people
A Truth & Reconciliation Commission, or similar, to heal the rifts within HK society
The idea of a referendum is for the Will of the HK people to define what they want. What the people want becomes the action to be implemented by a universal and equal suffrage democratically elected government with a high degree of autonomy - this nullifies China's breach of the Joint Declaration allowing this agreement to continue. We have UN human rights to participate online and offline in elections.
Unfortunately this election had problems of corrupt practices - mostly by the pro-Beijing parties. HK elections must be held according to international standards - NOT to the standards of mainland China elections! for details please see our blog "on a roll at the poll".
Under the Joint Declaration HK must have a high degree of autonomy. The government of China must start treating HK fairly and perform in a less authoritarian manner. Many are hoping it will. If it does not perform in a just manner China will then face internationally the consequences of its failure to perform under an agreement that it signed. Beyond the CCP and China there are many other stakeholders who remain interested and invested in HK's future.
Related wethepeopleofhk.com links "on a roll at the poll", "Hong Kongers break Beijings delusions of victory."
Newly elected pro-democrat District Councillors first duty is to help Polytechnic University students still under Police seige after nearly 2 weeks!