District Councils (Amendment) Bill 2023 published in the Gazette today

68

30th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong government has published the District Councils (Amendment) Bill 2023 in the Gazette, covering six primary and 15 subsidiary legislations to implement proposals on improving district governance. The bill aims to enhance the efficacy of district governance and reform the composition of District Councils (DCs), returning them to their positioning under Article 97 of the Basic Law as advisory and service bodies that are not organs of political power.

The bill provides for nine key matters, including the functions of DCs, designation of District Officers as DC Chairmen, and composition of DCs. The proposed reforms are aimed at restoring the DCs to the right track and putting an end to the chaos of the sixth-term DCs. The government spokesperson said that the reforms will strictly adhere to the guiding principles of improving district governance, including giving top priority to national security and implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong.”

The proposed reforms will be an integral part of improving district governance, restoring the function of DCs, and enhancing the efficacy of district governance. The bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for first and second readings with the aim of passing it early to kick-start the preparatory work for the election and form the new term of DCs on 1st January, 2024. The government spokesperson added that the reforms will help achieve good governance and give citizens a greater sense of well-being.