The Neo Democrats Party say they have reported former Democratic Party member Cyrus Chan Chin-chun and Sai Kung District Councillor Luk Ping-choi to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), after the pair allegedly breached election regulations in their attempt to force a party member out of the upcoming District Council elections.

An alleged threat from Chan and Luk came after Neo Democrats member Jacky Lai Ming-chak announced last week that he will be running for a seat in Po Kwan District, a district served by Chan. The party said that the pair contacted them last week, warning that – if Lai did not withdraw from the election – they would send a representative to contest the seat in the Sai Kung O Tong District, a district which has been served by Neo Democrats.

The Neo Democrats making the election announcement. Photo: 新民主同盟 Neo Democrats via Facebook.

Neo Democrats Legislative Councillor Gary Fan Kwok-wai told Stand News that Chan and Luk had behaved atrociously. He said that after seeking legal opinion, he came to the understanding that the actions constituted “a threat to use force or duress against candidates or prospective candidates”, which is an offence under Section 8 of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance.

Fan also said that he had evidence to back up his case, including a voice recording threatening “mutual destruction” and “an eye for an eye”.

“It’s frightening… I’ve never seen anything like this in my years in politics,” Fan said. He also said that they will still insist on having a representative run in the said district and that they were mentally prepared for vote snatching.

Jacky Lai handing out flyers. Photo: 新民主同盟 Neo Democrats via Facebook.

Chan, who is planning to run on behalf of Concern Group for Tseung Kwan O People’s Livelihood, told Stand News that he will not comment on Fan’s allegations and that it was “a private conversation between friends”. Chan said that he only wanted to focus on his district work and not get caught up in political scandals.

“The person who is making the report or claiming to have been unfairly treated is not always the victim.” He said that the case should be left to the ICAC, which he trusts will be fair.

Chan, who had served in the Kwan Po district for three years, said that he will insist on running. As a former member of Scholarism, he later joined the Democratic Party but left after the party did not nominate him to run in the Kwan Po district.

Last Friday, Neo Democrats had announced that they will be sending 16 representatives to compete in the upcoming District Council elections. Fan said that the Neo Democrats had coordinated with the pan-democrats to ensure they will not be contesting in the same districts, but Jacky Lai and Cyrus Chan will likely be competing against each other in the Kwan Po District. Fan had said that they will explain to the voters that Lai is the only candidate recognised by pan-democrats.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.