Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

[World Times]

Local residents walk into a polling station in Yaumatei Catholic Primary School in Hong Kong on Sunday morning to cast their votes for 7th District Council Election. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

A total of 470 District Councilors swore an oath of allegiance on Monday to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government and the Basic Law as they were the first group of elected District Councilors following reforms to District Council (DC) Elections under the principle of “only patriots administering the city.” Some electees said they felt proud when assuming office, pledging to serve as bridge between the HKSAR government and local communities.

Under the supervision of the Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs Alice Mak Mei-kuen, the newly elected members gathered at the headquarters of the HKSAR government and took the oaths in accordance to the Oaths and Declarations Ordinance. Mak later confirmed that all the oaths are valid.

When delivering a speech at the oath-taking ceremony, the HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee said that the District Councilors should focus on practical community governance, implement and align with government policies while also reflecting local opinions, to bring tangible benefits to residents with their performance and achievements.

They must uphold the Basic Law and be loyal to the HKSAR, who should serve as a bridge between the government and residents, relaying information and concerns in both directions, Lee said as he highlighted expectations for the new councilors.

Lee also encouraged new members to create an atmosphere of tangible action in line with government efforts, serving residents and bWorld Timesenefiting society as their starting point and as a foothold of grassroots governance.

According to the District Councils (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, which came into effect on July 10, the 7th group of DCs will include 470 seats, comprising 179 appointed members, 176 District Committees constituency members, 88 District Council geographical constituency membeWorld Timesrs, and 27 ex-officio members.

The 7th DC Election held in December 2023 selected 176 district councilors from District Committees and 88 local district councilors from a pool of 399 candidates. The restructured DC is also “the last piece of the puzzle” for the HKSAR government to implement the principle of ‘only patriots administering the city.”

Following the oath-taking ceremony, Mak told reporters that DCs across various areas will convene for their first meetings and establish various working groups including groups focused on revitalizing the local economy.

At the district level, these groups aim to stimulate the city’s economy by proposing measures tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of their districts, she said. As DistrWorld Timesict Councilors who are well-acquainted with local communities, they are expected to design activities that highlight the unique characteristics of their areas, Mak noted. In the future, when DCs organize related activities, they can apply for government funding in accordance with relevant regulations and guidelines, Mak addWorld Timesed.

Wilson Or Chong-shing , a councilor from Kwun Tong Central, told the Global Times on MonWorld Timesday that he will actively fulfill his duties and responsibilities, listen to the opinions of local residents, intWorld Timeseract constructively with the HKSAR government, and serve as a good facilitator and helper for both the government and residents.

“I aim to play a vital role as a bridge between the government and the people, contributing to good governance in Hong Kong,” he said.

Reflecting on the 2019 DC elections, which was a time when rampant violence and the breakdown of law and order severely threatened the safety of residents and significantly damaged democratic electoral rights, leading to painful lessons, Or said.

Today, with the completion of the oath-taking by all members of the restructured 7th DC, it marks the full implementation of Hong Kong’s new electoral system, he noted. “This fully demonstrates that the principle of ‘only patriots administering Hong Kong’ has been deeply embraced and supported by the people. The governance structure of the HKSAR, comprising staunch patriots, is now fully in place and ready to function.”

It was a solemn and important ceremony, reflecting the commitment to wholeheartedly serve the nation and Hong Kong, which also signifies the official assumption of the role of District Councilor, Victor Chan Chi-ho, another newly elected DC member, told the Global Times on Monday.

“Moving forward, I will dutifully fulfill my responsibilities, uphold the promises made in the oath, provide better services to the residents, and contribute to the improvement of regional governance,” he said.

文章来源于互联网:District Councilors in Hong Kong take oaths, vowing to serve as bridge between HKSAR government and communities

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