The pro-Beijing camp are set to take the chairmanship and vice-chairmanship of all 18 district councils, including Shatin and Sham Shui Po, where they only lead the pro-democracy camp by one seat.

The “authorities” will not allow the pro-Beijing camp to “trade” seats with the pro-democracy camp in the two districts, Singtao Daily reported. The report did not say if it was referring to the Hong Kong government or the China Liaison Office as the “authorities.”

It was rumoured that some members of the pro-Beijing camp, especially those in the New Territories with indigenous backgrounds, might give the vice-chairman seat to the pan-democrats in order to secure the chairman seat for themselves. The “authorities” were reportedly “extremely unhappy” about this plan.

Results of the 2015 District Council. The pro-Beijing camp’s seats are in red, and the pro-democracy camp’s seats are in yellow. Photo: Stand News and Wikicommons.

According to the report, the chairmen and vice-chairmen of at least ten districts will remain. Yuen Long was another district that the “authorities” were concerned about, with the pro-Beijing camp set to take both of the important seats in Shatin and Sham Shui Po.

Balance of power
A source told the newspaper that the “authorities” hoped that different fractions of the pro-Beijing camp could coordinate themselves to better allocate their seats and create a balance of power.

For example, in the last term the DAB Party grabbed both seats in the Eastern District, and the Federation of the Trade Unions (FTU) was reportedly unhappy about this.

In the new term, the DAB Party’s Wong Kin-pan could remain as chairman, but the vice-chairmanship may have to be given to the FTU’s Chiu Chi-keung.

In the Tuen Mun district, the health of Lau Wong-fat – the lawmaker and council chairman of the last term – has deteriorated, and it is uncertain whether he will continue to be chairman.

If Lau steps down, the DAB Party’s Leung Kin-man will be chairman, and Kwu Hon-keung – who has links to the indigenous people of New Territories – will be vice-chairman.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.