Liaison Office accused of meddling in Law Society vote

Local | Cindy Wan 30 May 2019

Nine candidates will compete for five posts at today's annual meeting of the Law Society, amid accusations that Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong is attempting to interfere in the race.

Eric Cheung Tat-ming, a law professor at the University of Hong Kong, yesterday accused the central government's SAR representatives of intervening in the society's committee election.

He uploaded a screen capture of a WhatsApp message saying the Liaison Office hopes the recipient supports five candidates it endorsed. Cheung said the message was sent to his trusted lawyer friend by a pro-Beijing loyalist.

The five candidates who appear to have Beijing's backing are Roden Tong Man-lung, Doreen Kong Yuk-foon, Ronald Kan Yu-him, Alvin Cheng Wai-pong and Christopher Yu Kwok-kin.

"Why is the Liaison Office intervening in the Law Society's election?" Cheung demanded to know. "Is that what officials of the central government meant by the so-called 'one country two systems that remains unchanged and not distorted?'

"Does the central government hope that the newly elected committee of the Law Society will issue a statement saying it supports or does not oppose the amendment over the fugitive law?"

For its part, the Law Society said it would not comment on the rumor, adding that it is an apolitical professional group.

"It will only consider and analyze social issues from a professional legal angle without being affected by any political stance," a spokeswoman said.

Kong joined the New People's party to run in the 2015 District Council election, and led a demonstration against the 2014 Occupy movement, while Kan is the son of CPPCC National Committee Tony Kan Chung-nin.

The Group of Concerned Solicitors, which has been monitoring the election, said the claim of Beijing's intervention is "deeply disturbing."

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