11 March 1999
Democrats Fight for Democracy and Rule of Law in
24-hour Legco Session
The Democratic Party fought and lost two battles in defense of democracy
and the rule of law during a 24-hour legislative Council session which ended
today. During the session, the
Hong Kong government relied on the votes of undemocratically-selected Legco
members to pass a bill which gives 20% of the seats in renamed District
Councils to government-appointed members.
Democratic Party Chairman Martin Lee called the
"an insult to Hong Kong people.
The Hong Kong government's actions, leading us backwards when we
should be going forward toward full democracy, are reprehensible.
The bill makes a travesty of the Hong Kong people's support for
full democracy which they expressed in overwhelming numbers in the May 1998
Legislative Council elections.
The inclusion of appointed members in these
bodies is something we have seen before.
In 1996, the provisional legislature, appointed by Beijing, included
appointed eleven members who lost in democratic election in 1995.
The government's district councils bill will allow those who do not
enjoy the trust of the people to get into government without being
accountable, without submitting themselves to the will of the people.
It is abundantly clear that this government
has no intention, let alone plan, to bring about democracy in Hong Kong."
Un-elected Legislative Councillor Choy So-yuk,
who herself lost to Mr. Lee in the 1995 Legislative Council election and who
holds a seat through the appointed Election Committee, objected to Mr. Lee’s
remarks saying, "why are you labelling people?
Why are you saying that people who support the appointments system do
not support democracy?"
Democratic Party Legislator Cheung Man-kwong told
government officials present in the chamber to defend the bill.