The Democratic Party and the Civic Party have reported a case to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) alleging that a District Council election candidate received electoral bribes to run. The candidate is one of the “fake umbrella soldiers” who were said to have been set up to snatch votes from other pro-democracy camp candidates.

The parties said that Next Magazine interviewed the grandmother of Li Chak-sum – a candidate and spokesperson of the “New Youth Group.” She said he accepted HK$15,000 to “hand out leaflets.” Six members of the group are running in the election.

“If the report is true, that Li Chak-sum and other candidates of New Youth Group were offered rewards to run in the election, and were being influenced by a financier, there is a high chance they broke the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance,” read a statement from the parties.

Li Chak-sum. Photo: Next Magazine.

Lawmaker Sin Chung-kai and Alan Leong reported the case to ICAC on Thursday afternoon: “The Democratic Party and the Civic Party are determined to defend the integrity of the elections. We oppose any electoral bribery and cheating… We demand the ICAC investigate and follow up on this.”

The ordinance says that if a person engages in corrupt conduct at an election, or if a person corruptly offers an advantage to another as an inducement for them to stand as a candidate, they could receive a maximum penalty of HK$500,000 and seven years in prison.

Suspected bribes

The parties also said that Anthony Cheng, an online radio station host, was charged by the ICAC for allegedly offering HK$150,000 to have groups formed after last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protest run in selected constituencies in the election.

They said that an i-cable reporter – who went undercover saying he was interested to run – obtained the list of selected constituencies from Cheng, namely Belcher and Chung Wan in the Central & Western District, and Kornhill in the Eastern District.

The parties said members of New Youth Group planned to, or currently are, running in those constituencies: “The Democratic Party and the Civic Party urge the ICAC to investigate if these two [selected constituencies] are related so we can have a fair and just election.”

Photo: Democratic Party members hold placards calling for clean election outside ICAC. Photo: Democratic Party via Facebook.

Li Chak-sum will face incumbent Democratic Party district councillor Cheung Kwok-cheong and independent candidate Yang Mo in the Nam Fung constituency in the Eastern District.

Li was recently accused of being a triad member. He told Next Magazine however that he has never participated in any triad rituals.

Li could not be reached for comment.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.