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The 1999 Hong Kong District Council elections were held on 28 November 1999 for all 18 districts of Hong Kong, for 390 members from directly elected constituencies out of total 519 council members. It was the first District Council election after the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, replacing the existing Provisional District Councils appointed by Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa.

The pro-Beijing camp scored fairly well in the election, with the flagship pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), improved its performance in catching up with the Democratic Party, the largest pro-democracy party. The Democratic Party sustained its political momentum by securing 24.9% of the votes as compared to 22.8% in 1994. The DAB and the Democratic Party became the largest parties in the District Councils, while DAB captured 83 seats out of 176 candidates, the Democratic Party captured 87 out of 173 candidates. The pro-grassroots pro-democracy party, the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL), appeared to lose some popular support from 7% of the total vote in 1994 to 4.7% in 1999.

Overall, the pro-democracy forces failed to enhance their influence and outperform the pro-Beijing camp.[1] After the election, Tung Chee-hwa reintroduced appointed members to the District Councils, appointing 102 pro-government members to prevent the pro-democracy camp from dominating the councils.

Overview

In comparison to the 1994 District Board elections, the pro-Beijing camp improved their performance and closed the gap with the pro-democracy camp. Although the Democratic Party maintained its share of votes, its success rate decline slightly due to the fct the party nominated far more candidates than it had in the 1994 elections. The Democratic Party contested directly with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), the pro-Beijing party, in 96 constituencies, of which 54 were won by the Democrats, 36 by the DAB contenders and 6 by other candidates. Incumbents changing their constituencies such as Stanley Ng Wing-fai in Yau Tsim Mong District and Shirley Ho Suk-ping in the Sha Tin District were defeated by the pro-Beijing candidates.[1]

Other pro-democracy parties such as the 123 Democratic Alliance and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL) failed to achieve any breakthrough in elections. The 123 Democratic Alliance increased both its success rate and the number of candidates, but only winning 6 seats. It remained a small party and was eventually dissolved in 2000 due to the lack of financial support from the Taiwan government. The ADPL filled less candidates partly due to some ADPL defecting to the Democratic Party in 1997 after the internal dispute over the question of joining the Beijing-controlled Provisional Legislative Council. The ADPL failed to penetrate into other districts apart from its political base at Shamshuipo. The Frontier and the Citizens Party remained uninterested in the local elections, with the Frontier nominated only 9 candidates to compete in Sha Tin and Eastern districts, of which 4 of them were elected. The Citizens Party had only Chan Tim-shing elected in the Eastern District.[1]

The pro-Beijing camp relied on the DAB to counter the pro-democracy forces. The DAB drastically increased its numbers of candidates from 83 in 1994 to 176 in 1999. Its success rate also rose from 44.6% to 47.2%, contributed by the strong grassroots work of the DAB candidates. The pro-business Liberal Party improved its performance by lower its candidates form 89 to 34, with success rate rising from 20.2 to 44.1%. The Liberal Party recruited some candidates with strong grassroots networks prior the elections to compensate its weakness in district works. The party leaders, such as Chairman James Tien Pei-chun, legislators Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee and Howard Young also contested in the elections, though Chow was defeated.[1] The Hong Kong Progressive Alliance (PA) strategically merged with the Liberal Democratic Federation of Hong Kong (LDF), nominating fewer candidates and improving its performance by winning 16 as compared to 12 in 1994. The stronghold of PA remained in the Kowloon City District, with the expansion of its influence to Sai Kung and Sha Tin districts. The Shatin-based Civil Force slightly increased its number of seats but saw a decline in its success rate.[1]

Results

General outcome

e • d Summary of the 28 November 1999 District Councils of Hong Kong election results
Political Affiliation Popular vote % Standing Elected
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong 190,792 23.53 Increase11.82 176 83
Hong Kong Progressive Alliance 21,488 2.65 Increase2.17 24 16
Liberal Party 27,718 3.42 Decrease3.98 34 15
Civil Force 19,633 2.42 Increase0.65 14 11
Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions 1,074 0.13 - 1 1
New Territories Heung Yee Kuk 942 0.12 - 1 1
Hong Kong Chinese Reform Association - - - 1 1
Independent and others 178,299 21.99 - 180 106
Total for pro-Beijing camp 442,286 54.55 - 435 233
Democratic Party 201,461 24.85 Increase1.69 173 86
Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood 38,119 4.70 Decrease2.25 32 19
123 Democratic Alliance 11,396 1.41 Decrease0.60 10 6
Frontier 9,388 1.16 - 9 4
Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre 3,295 0.41 - 3 2
Citizens Party 2,072 0.26 - 1 1
Hong Kong Democratic Foundation 1,392 0.17 Decrease0.42 1 1
Independent democrats 62,226 7.67 - 61 37
Total for pro-democracy camp 329,349 40.62 - 290 156
Independent and others 39,228 4.84 - 73 1
Total (turnout 35.82%) 810,863 100.0 - 798 390

Note1: The total seats of the District Councils are 519 including 27 ex-officio members (Rural Committee Chairmen in the New Territories), and 102 members appointed members by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
Note2: Councilor Lau Kong-wah who ran under both DAB and Civil Force banners is counted as a DAB member in this chart.


Results by district

Council Camp control Largest party DP DAB ADPL PA Lib CF 123DA TF Others Pro-dem Pro-Beijing Appointed
& ex officio
Composition Details
Central & Western Pro-Beijing Democratic 5 3 1 1 5 8 7 4




Details
Wan Chai Pro-Beijing DAB 2 3 1 5 2 9 3




Details
Eastern Pro-Beijing DAB 6 13 1 2 1 11 10 26 9



Details
Southern Pro-Beijing Democratic 2 2 2 11 2 15 4




Details
Yau Tsim Mong Pro-Beijing Democratic 4 2 1 1 8 7 9 4




Details
Sham Shui Po Pro-democracy ADPL 3 3 10 1 4 15 6 5




Details
Kowloon City Pro-Beijing PA 4 3 1 5 4 5 5 17 5




Details
Wong Tai Sin Pro-Beijing Democratic 7 5 2 1 10 12 13 6




Details
Kwun Tong Pro-Beijing Democratic 9 6 19 18 16 8




Details
Tsuen Wan Pro-Beijing Democratic 6 1 1 3 6 10 7 5+2




Details
Tuen Mun Pro-Beijing Democratic 9 7 4 1 2 6 15 14 7+1




Details
Yuen Long Pro-Beijing DAB 1 7 1 14 2 21 7+6




Details
North Pro-Beijing Democratic 7 6 3 8 8 5+4




Details
Tai Po Pro-Beijing Democratic 5 4 1 1 8 6 13 5+2




Details
Sai Kung Pro-Beijing DAB 3 5 3 6 4 13 5+2




Details
Sha Tin Pro-Beijing Civil Force 3 9 3 1 11 3 6 8 28 9+1




Details
Kwai Tsing Pro-democracy Democratic 10 2 1 15 23 5 7+1




Details
Islands Pro-Beijing DAB 2 5 1 6 4+8




Details
TOTAL 86 83 19 16 15 11 6 4 145 155 233 129



Vote summary

Votes, of total, by camp

  Pro-Beijing (54.55%)
  Pro-democrats (40.62%)
  Other (4.83%)

Seats, of total, by camp

  Pro-Beijing (59.74%)
  Pro-democrats (40.00%)
  Other (0.26%)
Popular vote
Democratic
24.85%
DAB
23.53%
ADPL
4.70%
Liberal
3.42%
PA
2.65%
Civil Force
2.42%
123DA
1.54%
Frontier
1.16%
Others
35.86%

Seat summary

Seats
Democratic
22.05%
DAB
21.28%
ADPL
4.87%
PA
4.10%
Liberal
3.85%
Civil Force
2.82%
123DA
1.41%
Frontier
1.03%
Others
38.59%

Aftermath

Tung Chee Hwa appointed 102 members to the District Council after the election to prevent the pro-democracy camp from dominating the District Councils. These included 41 from various political parties, namely the Liberal Party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance. There were no democrats appointed. The pro-democrats thus lost their domination of the Kwun Tong, Wong Tai Sin and Yau Tsim Mong District Councils where the pro-democrats had 15, 11 and 6 directly elected seats while pro-Beijing camp gained 15, 10 and 6 seats and 18, 14 and 8 seats after the appointments respectively.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Chan, Ming K.; So, Alvin Y. (2002). Crisis and Transformation in China's Hong Kong. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 139–42.