December 16, 1998
Democrats Stage Walk-out to Protest Attack on Democracy in Legco
Democratic Party members walked out of the Legislative Council session
today to protest the Hong Kong government's legislation to retain and increase
the number of appointed members in the District Councils. The District
Councils Bill would bring the total number of appointed seats in the councils
to 102 of 519 seats. In 1994, the District Councils were entirely elected
for the first time. In 1997, the Hong Kong government added 96 appointed
seats. The Democrats vowed to seek amendments to the government's bill.
DP Chairman Martin Lee commented:
"We took the unusual step of walking out of the Legislative
Council to draw attention to the Tung Administration's relentless campaign
against democracy. Coming after the government's decision to abolish the
Municipal Councils, the attempt to increase the number of appointed members
in the District Councils demonstrates this government's commitment to reversing
the democratic trend in Hong Kong. Let no one be in any doubt, when Mr.
Tung says 'slowly, slowly,' he means 'never, never.'
"The Democratic Party will fight this bill inside the Legco
through the amendment process and outside by rallying public support."
The government's District Councils Bill also includes provisions
to create new undemocratic seats to replace Legislative Council seats representing
the Municipal Councils.