香 港 人
權 監 察
HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS MONITOR
香 港 上 環 孖 沙 街 二 十 號 金 德 樓 4 樓
4/F Kam Tak Building, 20 Mercer Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
電話 Phone: (852) 2811-4488 傳真 Fax: (852) 2802-6012
電郵地址 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 網址 Website: http://www.hkhrm.org.hk
Paul Harris Deputy Chairpersons:
John Clancey & Vivian To Treasurer:
Lai Wing Yiu Secretary: Dr.
Founder members: Johannes Chan John Kamm Phillip Ross Ho Hei Wah Andrew Byrnes Charles Mok Paul Harris Christine Loh Dr. Stephen Ng
Director: Law Yuk Kai Organiser: Ida Tse Education & Project Officer: Kit Chan Executive Officer: Ivy Fung & Poon King Yin
statement for immediate release
Enquiries: Mr. Law Yuk Kai (director) (852) 9788 3394
羅沃啟 (總 幹事) (852) 9788 3394
Appointment condemned by rights group
(Hong Kong: 27 December 2003) The Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor condemned the Chief Executive’s insistence on proceeding with the system of appointment of members to the District Councils. The Monitor also rebukes those political parties and individuals who have accepted their appointments. The Hong Kong SAR Government released its list of 102 appointed District Councillors today.
On 23 November 2003, more than a million voters cast their votes to elect over 300 District Councillors. Disregarding these democratic elections, armed with the District Councils Ordinance, the Chief Executive on his own, handpicked up to 102 members for the District Councils, and in effect this one person has cast the same number of ballots cast by hundreds of thousands of voters. It does not matter who has been appointed or his or her political affiliation, the appointment of even one member has diluted the elected representation of the District Councils. The appointment system should be abolished immediately.
Since the end of the November, political parties, NGOs and even members of the public have expressed their demands to abolish the appointment system. They have participated in public processions, petition and signature campaigns, and even written to the newspapers or telephoned radio phone-in programmes to call for the end of the appointed seats in the District Councils. Unfortunately, pro-government parties or individuals that have received most of the appointed seats in the past have been in favour of retaining the appointment system.
Nonetheless, the Chief Executive has once again failed to address the democratic deficit in Hong Kong. It appears that the Chief Executive would rather risk his public support to strengthen his support from the pro-government camp. We are sorry to see such unholy horse-trading which benefits only the Chief Executive and his political supporters. It succinctly highlights that when the Chief Executive in power does not receive his authority from the mandate of the people through universal and equal suffrage, he does not care about responding to the will of the people.
On the other hand, the Monitor is even more frustrated by the political parties and individuals who have accepted their appointments. They have failed to convince their members to put themselves forward before the electorate, but then let them enjoy a political free lunch. The Liberal Party in fact has shamelessly announced that they put forward a list of their members for the Chief Executive to appoint. These appointed District Councilors pose a serious obstacle to Hong Kong’s political development towards universal suffrage, a goal probably intended by the Chief Executive and the pro-Government political parties. Politicians tend to serve the interests of their sources of power. When their appointments come from the Chief Executive rather than from the voters, it is very obvious to which side they would lean when the government’s position and the public opinions are in conflict. This explains perfectly why the Government had successfully lobbied 16 of the 18 former District Councils to pass resolutions in support of Article 23 legislation even though such resolutions could hardly said to be representative of the majority of Hong Kong people's stance on this issue.
The Monitor once again calls for the public not to underestimate the difficulties on the way to democracy. We urge the public to actively participate in the 2004 LegCo Elections and the discussion on constitutional development. While the government continuously fails to respond to the people, we will have to take the necessary actions ourselves to move towards a more democratic and responsive government. When the Government fails to listen to reason, it obvious that it will only respond to pressure generated by people's power.
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