Another seven candidates, including pro- Beijing lawmakers Michael Tien Puk-sun and Ip Kwok-him, applied to run for local deputies of the National People's Congress on the eve of today's close of applications.
An estimated 45 applications have so far been submitted to the NPC's Hong Kong electoral council since November 24.
Among them is independent district councillor Paul Zimmerman, who makes history as the first foreigner with Chinese citizenship, and the only pan-democrat to seek a seat.
Zimmerman said he received 22 nominations - double the minimum requirement of 10. But he concedes his chances of winning are slim.
"It is a good opportunity to get my platform across as the only pan-democratic candidate," he told The Standard. "I believe China is ready to be the leader of other nations, and ready to listen to what its citizens want to express."
The former Dutch national obtained Chinese citizenship earlier this year and had intended to run in September's Legislative Council election. But the former Civic Party member failed to secure enough nominations.
Zimmerman said for the NPC election he won nominations from various pan-democratic parties and independents.
According to a source, his nominators included Charles Mok Nai-kwong of the information technology constituency, Joseph Lee Kwok-lun of health services, and Frederick Fung Kin-kee, whom Zimmerman had endorsed to run for the Legco second functional constituency, known as "super seats."
More than 1,600 people - mainly members of the election committee that returned Leung Chun-ying as chief executive as well as local deputies to the NPC and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference members - will elect 36 other NPC local deputies on December 19. KELLY IP