Witnessed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, permanent secretaries, heads of department and directorate civil servants at the rank of D6 or above swear to uphold Hong Kong's Basic Law, bear allegiance to the HKSAR, be dedicated to their duties and be responsible to the HKSAR government during a ceremony at the Central Government Offices, Hong Kong, Dec 18, 2020. (PHOTO / HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Members of district councils will soon start to take oaths to pledge their allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Tuesday during a press meeting.
Oath-taking for the current 221 district councilors will be done in four batches, starting with members of district councils of Hong Kong Island on Friday at North Point Community Hall.
Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui Ying-wai will be the commissioner for oaths. Tsui will not rule at the scene whether the oaths taken by councilors are valid or not. The government will announce the results after the oath-taking
All district councilors for Hong Kong Island will receive invitations on Tuesday, and those who refuse to attend will lose their seats.
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Lam said district councilors are required to read out their oath word by word, in front of the national flag and regional flag, solemnly and sincerely. The dress code is also specified in the invitation, she said.
Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui Ying-wai will be the commissioner for oaths. Tsui will not rule at the scene whether the oaths taken by councilors are valid or not. The government will announce the results after the oath-taking.
Councilors will be given opportunities to explain and appeal if the authority has doubts on his or her oath-taking, Lam added.
There were 479 district councillors originally, and 260 quit for various reasons. Another eight were disqualified for various reason, including some being held in custody and some left the city.
Lam promised that the government will provide necessary services for residents living in areas with no serving district councilors.
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This way, it would ensure that community interests at the district level are not undermined by the absence of those failing to fulfill the legal requirements, she added.