Chief Executive John Lee said on Tuesday that elections will still be held in the selection of future district councillors, though steps will be taken to ensure that only patriots who don't jeopardise national security can be elected.
Speaking ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, Lee said a review on district administration is almost complete. The review, announced in his maiden policy address last year, was aimed at making sure that the district council system is in line with the principle of patriots governing Hong Kong.
Lee said while district councils are worth keeping, there’s a need to do more to safeguard national security, maintain an executive-led administration and prevent what he said were "outrageous behaviours" from happening again.
"They [some former district councillors] are the root of the problem, and they had been behaving in such a way that caused damage to society, upsetting everybody's expectation of what a district councillor should do, and by the very fact that two-thirds of them either resigned or were disqualified, that shows that they're absolutely every part of the problem," he said.
"We are not going to allow this to repeat. I will not allow district councils to be the platform to promote Hong Kong independence or anything which is against the Basic Law. I think society will not allow district councils to misbehave like that, disappointing them in many regards."
While details will be announced soon, Lee said there will be multiple ways for people to become district councillors in future.
"Amongst these possible entry rules, there will be elements of election,” the CE said. "We're working on the actual details, we will formalise it very quickly."
Currently, district councils are formed mainly via citywide elections, with the remaining seats occupied by rural committee chairs.
Lee also said the total number of district council seats in the next term will be similar to that of the current term.