1st LD Writethru: Voting starts for HKSAR's 7th District Council Ordinary Election

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HONG KONG, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Voting for the 7th District Council Ordinary Election of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) began on Sunday, with 399 candidates running for 176 seats in the District Committees constituency (DCC) and the 88 seats in the District Council geographical constituency (DCGC).

This is the first District Council election since the HKSAR reformed the electoral system to improve district governance.

HKSAR Chief Executive John Lee cast his vote on Sunday morning. Lee said the new term District Councils will implement the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", making sure that the entire governance system of the HKSAR complies with the requirements of "one country, two systems". He urged Hong Kong residents to cherish the opportunity to vote.

Under the reformed electoral system, all elected District Council members will be patriots who safeguard security and interests of the districts, the HKSAR and the country as a whole, allowing residents to live and work in contentment and ensuring Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, Lee said.

He added that the new monitoring mechanism introduced under the reformed electoral system will ensure the integrity of the elected District Council members and make sure that their work meet public expectations.

"Issues of public concern such as community transportation, sanitation and public facility can be reflected to the HKSAR government through the District Council members," he said.

According to the HKSAR government, more than 600 DCGC ordinary polling stations have been set up across the HKSAR for voters to cast their ballots from 8:30 a.m. local time (0030 GMT) Sunday. Voting for the DCGC ends at 10:30 p.m. (1430 GMT).

As for the DCC, each of the 18 districts in Hong Kong has a polling station set up. Polling hours for the DCC start at 8:30 a.m. local time (0030 GMT) and end at 2:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) Sunday.

For the convenience of voters who travel from the Chinese mainland, four polling stations have been set up near the Sheung Shui MTR station.

According to the District Councils (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, which came into effect on July 10, the seventh-term District Councils will have 470 seats, comprising 179 appointed members, 176 DCC members, 88 DCGC members, and 27 ex-officio members.

The seventh-term of office of the District Councils begins on Jan. 1, 2024. The term of office is four years. Enditem

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