Think twice about Legco bids, says Lau

Local | Michael Shum 7 Apr 2021

The pro-democracy camp should consider not standing in the revamped elections, former Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said.

She said that while past elections had not felt like "traps" to her after participating in seven of them, this might not be the case in the future.

Lau weighed in as her party remains undecided on whether or not to stand in future elections after China's top legislature passed changes to Hong Kong's electoral system requiring election hopefuls to obtain nominations from election committee members.

Speaking on a radio program yesterday, she said those who claim to be pro-democracy should consider how the elections will be after the electoral changes and consider not running.

"I have stood in seven elections. Although there were a lot of restrictions imposed in the past, I did not feel the election was a 'trap' - it was still a really open election in which anyone who got sufficient nominations could run and Hongkongers went to vote happily," Lau said.

"However, I believe similar scenes will not happen again in future elections," she added.

Lau also said that she believes the future electoral system will be full of limitations, adding that she finds it "humiliating" for the pro-democracy camp to have to beg pro-establishment politicians for nomination votes.

The election will no longer be open and fair in addition to becoming worthless and meaningless, as those hoping to run have to prove they have not made remarks angering the regime before being nominated, Lau said.

Lau emphasized again that instead of trying to overthrow the regime, Hongkongers only want the freedoms, rule of law and judicial independence stipulated in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and to gradually develop democracy in the SAR.

She also said she believed that the Democratic Party should continue fighting for democracy "in a rational and reasonable way without violence and swearing" in future.

The Democratic Party is calling for HK$4 million in public donations, as it expects to see a deficit of HK$100 million due to court cases its members are embroiled in.

The party will also start selling raffle tickets from today at over 300 street booths, with member Ramon Yuen Hoi-man saying the party is going through its most severe financial drought in the past decade.

Separately, Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, the founding chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the party should aim "higher" than just getting seats in the Legislative Council and consider sending members to join the government.

He said yesterday it is too narrow-minded to just aim for election committee constituency seats.

"Administering Hong Kong has become more and more difficult - apart from the legislature, we also have to contribute to the governing team," Tsang said.

"We have to think bigger and set our eyes not just on the 90 seats [in Legco], but also on joining the government," he added.

Tsang's comments yesterday came as the electoral changes saw the district council "super seats" scrapped and directly-elected seats reduced from 35 to 20. Ten of the 13 seats the party holds are either directly elected or from "super seats."

He had said in October that it was not the party's mission to nurture talent for the government after Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor told Tsang the DAB had failed to supply sufficient talents to join the administration.


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