At least 11 district councils paralyzed after resignations

The meetings of at least 11 district councils have been paralyzed following a wave of resignations from more than 230 district councillors.

Since last year, some 20 district councillors have stepped down due to self-imposed exile, imprisonment and reluctance to swear an oath to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the SAR.

But in July, at least 230 councillors resigned after sources said that those who participated in pro-democracy camp’s primary elections last year could be unseated.

Wong Tai Sin District Council, once the turf of 25 pro-democracy councillors, now has only three of them left, which has seen its meetings postponed. Of its six committees, five, including the finance, general and economic affairs committee, have struggled to start meetings due to the departure of their chairman and vice-chairman.

The Central and Western and Southern District Councils, with three and four councillors respectively staying behind, have encountered similar challenges.

The North District Council, now with only 15 councillors left after seven resigned, has disbanded its six committees.

Wong Tai Sin district councillor Mandy Tam Heung-man said only the council’s housing committee could have meetings for now. Tam said the mass resignation of councillors had paralyzed the council’s work.

“We are short of hands to distribute anti-pandemic items to residents,” she said. “We cannot approve funds for holding community activities via meetings as well.”

Tam said she was willing to serve the residents of other constituencies of the same district if possible.

The Home Affairs Department said the government would look into how it could help certain district councils’ meetings go ahead without enough attendees. “According to the District Councils Ordinance, empty seats in district councils shall not affect the operations of district councils,” the department said in a written reply.

Meanwhile, the Legco committee on the Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill 2021 cannot be formed after failing to comply with the minimum three-member requirement.

This came after former Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai was disqualified by a election vetting committee last month and removed from LegCo immediately.

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