December 16, 1998

Democrats Stage Walk-out to Protest Attack on Democracy in Legco Bill

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.

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