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Rural Representative elections

The Rural Representative elections are the quadrennial elections to elect the rural representatives which consist of the village representatives and kaifong representatives in the New Territories of Hong Kong. The rural representatives are responsible for electing the executive committees of their respective rural committees in which to elect the members of the Heung Yee Kuk.

Background

The Rural community in the New Territories has all the time had its own village representative elections. The previous electoral systems for a village or a group of villages came up around the end of World War II, in which they were conducted privately on a clan basis. All the candidates and electors were the indigenous inhabitants, ie person who could establish their patrilineal descent from a resident of a village that was in existence before the 1898 Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory.[1]

In 1994, the Heung Yee Kuk drew up a set of "Model Rules" for the elections of some 700 villages, which were held every four years. The appointment of the elected village representatives had to be approved by the Secretary for Home Affairs. The "Model rules" system prevailed until 1999 when two non-indigenous inhabitants, Chan Wah of Po Toi O in Sai Kung and Tse Kwan-sang of Shek Wu Tong in Yuen Long challenged the validity of the electoral arrangements in their villages by judicial review proceedings. Chan was denied the right to vote even though he married an indigenous inhabitants while Tse was denied the right to stand. The cases were eventually heard by the Court of Final Appeal in December 2000, which ruled that the electoral arrangements were inconsistent with the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance while those in Po Toi O were also inconsistent with the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.[1]

In view of the rulings, there were calls on the government to bring village representative elections under a statutory framework. In 2003, the government enacted the Village Representative Election Ordinance (Cap. 576), which was later renamed as Rural Representative Election Ordinance in 2014.[2] In the proposal, the election would be held in a electoral system of two types of village representatives which represent both the indigenous and non-indigenous inhabitants.[1]

The Village Representative Election Ordinance (Cap. 576) was later renamed as Rural Representative Election Ordinance in 2014,[2] which created a new type of kaifong representative which only were introduced in Cheung Chau and Peng Chau Rural Committee of the Islands District, for the electing non-village representatives to reflect views on local affairs on behalf of Cheung Chau and Peng Chau residents.[2]

Composition

There are three different types of rural representatives. Under the village representatives, there are indigenous inhabitant representatives and resident representatives. Indigenous inhabitants are returned by the elector of indigenous inhabitants which have the exclusive power to deal with all affairs relating to traditional rights and interests of the indigenous villages, while resident representatives are to reflect view on behalf of the non-indigenous residents. Kaifong representatives only exist in Cheung Chau and Peng Chau which are elected by the market towns of the respective areas.[3]

Elections

2003

Breakdown of Number of Villages and Village Representatives By District[4]
District No. of
Indigenous
Village &
Composite
Indigenous
Villages
No. of Indigenous
Inhabitants
Representatives
(IIR)
No. of
Existing
Village
No. of Resident
Resident
Representatives
(RR)
Total no.
of
IIR & RR
Islands 66 71 80 80 151
Kwai Tsing 9 18 8 8 26
North 97 132 117 117 249
Sai Kung 77 89 91 91 180
Sha Tin 46 55 48 48 103
Tai Po 124 150 121 121 271
Tsuen Wan 38 69 39 39 108
Tuen Mun 24 33 35 35 68
Yuen Long 120 170 154 154 324
Total 601 787 693 693 1,480

2007

Breakdown of Number of Villages and Village Representatives By District[5]
District No. of
Indigenous
Village &
Composite
Indigenous
Villages
No. of Indigenous
Inhabitants
Representatives
(IIR)
No. of
Existing
Village
No. of Resident
Resident
Representatives
(RR)
Total no.
of
IIR & RR
Islands 66 71 80 80 151
Kwai Tsing 9 18 8 8 26
North 97 132 117 117 249
Sai Kung 77 89 91 91 180
Sha Tin 46 55 48 48 103
Tai Po 124 150 121 121 271
Tsuen Wan 38 69 39 39 108
Tuen Mun 24 33 35 35 68
Yuen Long 120 170 154 154 324
Total 601 787 693 693 1,480

2011

Breakdown of Number of Villages and Village Representatives By District[6]
District No. of
Indigenous
Village &
Composite
Indigenous
Villages
No. of Indigenous
Inhabitants
Representatives
(IIR)
No. of
Existing
Village
No. of Resident
Resident
Representatives
(RR)
Total no.
of
IIR & RR
Islands 66 71 80 80 151
Kwai Tsing 9 18 10 10 28
North 97 132 117 117 249
Sai Kung 77 89 91 91 180
Sha Tin 46 55 48 48 103
Tai Po 125 151 122 122 273
Tsuen Wan 38 69 37 37 106
Tuen Mun 24 33 35 35 68
Yuen Long 121 171 155 155 326
Total 601 789 695 695 1,484

2015

Breakdown of Number of Rural Areas and Rural Representatives By District[7]
District No. of
Existing
Village
No. of Resident
Representatives
No. of
Indigenous
Villages &
Composite
Indigenous
Villages
No. of Indigenous
Inhabitants
Representatives
No. of Market
Towns
No. of Kaifong
Representatives
Total no. of
Rural
Representatives
Islands 80 80 66 71 2 56 207
Kwai Tsing 10 10 9 18 - - 28
North 117 117 97 132 - - 249
Sai Kung 91 91 77 89 - - 180
Sha Tin 48 48 46 55 - - 103
Tai Po 122 122 125 151 - - 273
Tsuen Wan 37 37 38 69 - - 106
Tuen Mun 35 35 24 33 - - 68
Yuen Long 155 155 121 171 - - 326
Total 695 695 601 789 2 56 1,540

2019

2023

Breakdown of Number of Rural Areas and Rural Representatives By District[8]
District No. of
Existing
Village
No. of Resident
Representatives
No. of
Indigenous
Villages &
Composite
Indigenous
Villages
No. of Indigenous
Inhabitants
Representatives
No. of Market
Towns
No. of Kaifong
Representatives
Total no. of
Rural
Representatives
Islands 80 80 66 71 2 56 207
Kwai Tsing 10 10 9 18 - - 28
North 117 117 97 132 - - 249
Sai Kung 91 91 77 89 - - 180
Sha Tin 48 48 46 55 - - 103
Tai Po 122 122 125 151 - - 273
Tsuen Wan 37 37 38 69 - - 106
Tuen Mun 35 35 24 33 - - 68
Yuen Long 155 155 121 171 - - 326
Total 695 695 601 789 2 56 1,540

Cheung Chau results

As most of the representatives were elected without opposition under a limited electoral base, Cheung Chau's Kaifong Representatives election was the focus for its relatively large number of seats and constituents.

Since Cheung Chau rural election became statutorily regulated by the authorities in 2015, it had been dominated by two main lists: reformist Cheung Chau Synergy, led by ex-Cheung Chau South councillor Ken Kwong Koon-wan, and conservative Cheung Chau Community Alliance, led by ex-Cheung Chau North councillor Lee Kwai-chun and chairman of Cheung Chau Rural Committee Yung Chi-ming.

Results of Cheung Chau rural election
Year Elected/Standing Result Turnout Ref
Conservative Reformist Unaligned
2015 31/31 6/30 2/9




56.19% [9]
2019 25/33 14/32 0/0




50.01%
2023 37/37 2/25 0/5




37.77% [10]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Report on the 2003 Village Representative Election" (PDF). Electoral Affairs Commission.
  2. ^ a b c "Background". Home Affairs Department.
  3. ^ "Types of Rural Representatives and their Functions". Home Affairs Department.
  4. ^ "Breakdown of Number of Villages and Village Representatives By District" (PDF). Election Affairs Commission.
  5. ^ "Breakdown of Number of Villages and Village Representatives By District" (PDF). Election Affairs Commission.
  6. ^ "Breakdown of Number of Villages and Village Representatives By District" (PDF). Election Affairs Commission.
  7. ^ "Breakdown of Number of Rural Areas and Rural Representatives By District" (PDF). Election Affairs Commission.
  8. ^ "Breakdown of Number of Rural Areas and Rural Representatives By District" (PDF). Election Affairs Commission.
  9. ^ Wong, Michael (2015-01-29). "長洲改革派挑戰選舉失敗". Harbour Times. Retrieved 2023-03-20.
  10. ^ "【Emily】長洲街坊代表選舉 投票率跌12百分點 - 20230116 - 港聞". 明報新聞網 - 每日明報 daily news (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 2023-03-20.
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Rural Representative elections
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