Village Representative Election
A system of village representation has developed in the New Territories over the decades. The arrangements for electing Village Representatives have also evolved over time.
With regard to two cases connected with the election of village representatives, the Court of Final Appeal ruled in December 2000 that the Secretary for Home Affairs, in deciding whether to approve an elected Village Representative, had to consider whether the person elected to represent a village was elected in accordance with electoral arrangements consistent with the Bill of Rights and the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.
To abide by the ruling of the Court of Final Appeal and to ensure that the elections are open and fair, the Government has established a set of new arrangements for Village Representative Elections following a review of the electoral system and extensive public consultation, in particular with the rural community and Heung Yee Kuk.
Since the enactment of the Village Representative Election Ordinance (Cap. 576) in 2003, the Village Representative elections have been brought under statutory control. The Ordinance was renamed as Rural Representative Election Ordinance in 2014. For details of the commencement of the Rural Representative Election Ordinance and related amendments, please refer to the gazette dated 4 April 2014. ( http://www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20141814/es1201418145.pdf )
Kaifong Representative Election
Among the 27 Rural Committees in the New Territories, the Kaifong Representatives serve only in the Cheung Chau Rural Committee and Peng Chau Rural Committee of Islands District. Similar to the Resident Representatives, the functions of Kaifong Representatives are to reflect views on local affairs on behalf of Cheung Chau / Peng Chau residents. The Administration, therefore, proposed to rename the Village Representative Election Ordinance (Cap. 576) as Rural Representative Election Ordinance, with a new term “Rural Representative” covering both Village Representative and Kaifong Representative. After the enactment of the Rural Representative Election Ordinance in 2014, the Kaifong Representatives Election to be held in and after 2015 is also required to be conducted in accordance with the law.
Term of Office
The tenure of office of Rural Representatives is four years (for this term of Rural Representatives, the tenure of office runs from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2023).