Southern District Councillor Paul Zimmerman and New Territories West Legislative Councillor Leung Yiu-chung have both announced their intentions to run for a seat in the District Council (Second) constituency – also known as the super district councillor seat – at the next Legislative Council elections. There are five super seats up for grabs in September. With Zimmerman and Leung running, the pan-democrats now have at least five potential candidates to send out.

The pan-democrats decided at a meeting last week to set up a coordinated task force to win as many seats at the next Legislative Council elections as possible. The pan-democrats – which comprise of almost 10 different political parties – have up until now never coordinated their efforts in the LegCo elections.

Paul Zimmerman
Paul Zimmerman. File photo: HKFP.

The Democratic Party is rumoured to be sending out James To and another newcomer to compete for a super seat, while Ronald Yeung Chun-yu is set to run on behalf of the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL). Thus, together with Zimmerman and Leung, the pan-democrats will have at least five potential candidates to compete for the super seats, Apple Daily reported.

Zimmerman reportedly sent an email to members of the pan-democrat camp announcing his wish to take part in the elections. He could either compete for a “super” seat or run in the Hong Kong Island constituency direct elections. He said that others had told him it was “more appropriate” to run for the super seat.

Though he confirmed with Apple Daily that he will indeed be running as an independent, he has yet to receive the official support of anyone. Zimmerman is eligible for the super seat as a District Councillor in the Southern constituency, having been re-elected last November.

leung yiu-chung
Leung Yiu-chung. File

Leung Yiu-chung, who is a Neighbourhood Workers Service Centre member and legislative councillor, told HK01 in an interview that he would like to run for a super seat on the Legislative Council. He later told Apple Daily that the pan-democrats currently take up three out of the five super seats but, at the next elections, veterans Albert Ho of the Democratic Party and ADPL’s Frederick Fung will no longer be eligible to run, having lost their District Council seats last November. This leaves only James To. If the pan-democrats send newcomers to compete against veterans from the pro-establishment camp, the pan-democrats could lose their current seats, Leung said.

Leung’s party currently only has five seats on the District Council, and in order to run for a super seat one must have the nominations of 15 District Councillors. Leung said that he will be discussing the matter with the pan-democratic camp. Leung had opposed reforming the super seat system years ago, but Democratic Party Chairwoman Emily Lau said that she did not hold this against him.

Karen cheung hong kong

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.