The localist group Hong Kong Indigenous has said it is interested in running in the Legislative Council by-election next year.

The by-election in New Territories East in February is taking place to fill the vacancy left by former Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah.

The plan was put forward after a proposal by Youngspiration suggested a primary should be held between pan-democrat groups to choose a candidate.

Hong Kong Indigenous at a protest. Photo: Stand News.

A member of Hong Kong Indigenous told Apple Daily that it will not coordinate a single candidate with any other party because they are not in the same camp with the pan-democrats.

However, if “umbrella soldiers” or localist organisations wanted to run, the group could discuss this with them, a member of the group told the newspaper.

Regarding whether they would discuss this with Youngspiration or not, the group member said it will depend on the result of the coordination or primary with Civic Party.

The group will not go into discussions with the Neo Democrats Party – which won 15 out of 16 seats contested in New Territories East – as the party did not endorse the anti-parallel trading protests carried out by the group, the member said.

Financial resources would be a deciding factor for running in the election, as the group will have to raise money from the public, the member added.

Hong Kong Indigenous has about 35 members and 40 volunteers.

Localist groups are generally pro-democracy but many consider pro-democracy activists and pan-democrats within the legislature to be ineffective. The camp is also tied with various movements related to the expansion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, for example advocating for city-state status or outright independence.

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.