Date
16 December 2017
(From left) Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai and People Power lawmaker Chan Chi-tsuen say the plan is intended to ease out opposition, but DAB lawmaker Ip Kwok-him says it is aimed at better representation. Photos: HKEJ
(From left) Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai and People Power lawmaker Chan Chi-tsuen say the plan is intended to ease out opposition, but DAB lawmaker Ip Kwok-him says it is aimed at better representation. Photos: HKEJ

Smaller Legco districts seen easing out radical lawmakers

The Hong Kong government plans to increase the number of Legislative Council election districts to nine from the current five, RTHK reported, citing unnamed sources.

Some members of the pan-democratic camp said the move is intended to ease out radical legislators.

Under the plan, the number of seats in each smaller district will be reduced to three to five, from the current five to nine. But the total number of lawmakers will stay at 35.

The proposal will raise the threshold for district elections, and benefit bigger parties that have a strong network at the district level, some legislators said.

“If adopted, the new system will favor the pro-establishment camp, which has an advantage of sharing votes among its alliance,” Democratic Party legislator Wu Chi-wai was quoted as saying. 

“It will also reduce the number of seats of pan-democrats, weakening their power to monitor the government,” Wu said, adding that his party will not support such changes.

People Power lawmaker Chan Chi-tsuen also said the new proposal is aimed at hurting the radical democrats. He also said his party opposes the proposal. 

Ip Kwok-him, lawmaker of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, denied the move will benefit big parties.

Ip, who has been involved in drafting the proposal, said the plan is aimed at taking care of residents in various districts “more effectively”.

Ivan Choy Chi-Keung, senior lecturer of the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the proposal will reduce the odds for small parties to win Legco seats.

As such, it might fuel speculation that the move is targeted at radical parties, Choy said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

JZ/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe