CY backers run for Legco against advice

Local | Phoenix Un 26 Jul 2016

Two supporters of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying have decided to contest the Legislative Council election despite receiving strong advice not to do so - radical pro-establishment leaders Patrick Ko Tat-bun and Leticia Lee See- yin.

Ko, chairman of the Voice of Loving Hong Kong, admitted in a radio program yesterday he was approached by the central government liaison office on July 17.

"I was told to consider a lose-lose situation in a competition with pro- establishment parties," he said.

The unnamed liaison office staffer also mentioned the names of a few pro- government politicians which Ko refused to disclose. Although he has yet to submit his nomination, Ko said he will contest the Kowloon East constituency where other candidates include Wilson Or Chong-shing of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Wong Kwok- kin of the Federation of Trade Unions and independent Paul Tse Wai-chun.

Lee, chairwoman of the Justice Alliance, submitted her nomination yesterday to run in the New Territories East after admitting she had been approached by people from different sectors asking her not to stand as she could split the votes of the pro- establishment camp.

However, she insisted the advice did not come from the liaison office, adding that attempts to ask any candidate to forego his or her campaign should be illegal.

Meanwhile, returning officers have finally started to contact some of the candidates, who either signed or did not sign the declaration demanded by the Electoral Affairs Commission upholding Basic Law articles and affirming Hong Kong as part of China. The candidates contacted are from the Democratic Party, Civic Party and DAB.

The pan-democrats have criticized the commission for taking an extraordinarily long time to confirm nominations which in previous elections took only three to four days.

Lam Cheuk-ting, Democratic Party candidate in the New Territories East who refused to sign the declaration, confirmed he had received an e-mail telling him to pick up labels of voters' addresses to mail campaign material, without mentioning whether his candidacy is confirmed.

"They should have told me whether my candidacy is confirmed. If I cannot stand in the election, what's the point of giving me all these?"

James To Kun-sun, the party's candidate in the district council functional constituency, also received e-mail from the returning officer last night confirming validity of his nomination as well as his candidacy, though he didn't sign the declaration. Baggio Leung Chung-hang, convener of the localist party Youngspiration and candidate in New Territories West who also did not sign the declaration, said he received no message.

As with Edward Leung Tin-kei of Hong Kong Indigenous, who is standing in the New Territories East, two other localists - Cheng Kam-mun of Civic Passion and Andy Chan Ho- tin of the National Party - also received e-mails asking whether they advocate independence.

"We are still consulting our solicitor whether we have to answer and if yes, how we should answer. There is no conclusion yet," said Cheng who is standing for a seat on Hong Kong Island.

Chan, who refused to sign the declaration, is a candidate for the New Territories West.

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