Newly-formed political party Demosistō has announced that Vice-Chair Oscar Lai Man-lok will be dropping out of the Legislative Council election in September as the party lacks funds to support candidates in two districts.

In a statement on Thursday morning, the party said that, since its establishment, they have been trying to push forward the city’s democratic self-determination movement, and hopes to join the legislature and pave a new road for democracy in Hong Kong.

Demosistō’s Oscar Lai. Photo: Cloud.

“As a new political party with no big businesses sponsoring us, we had hoped to be able to raise enough money through crowdfunding to run for the Legislative Council elections in two districts. Thanks to everyone’s support, we raised HK$1.4m over the past three months,” the party said.

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“However, after deducting the amount needed for rent and other such future expenses, there is less than HK$1m left, which makes it difficult to support running in two districts.”

Photo: Demosistō.

Therefore, the party said, they believe it would be more effective to concentrate their resources in the Hong Kong Island district to promote ideas of self-determination, as well as voice their opposition for “Anyone But CY” – alluding to the banner Ricky Wong Wai-kay is running under. Wong recently announced his intention to run for the Legislative Council.

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The party said that it was a difficult decision to make, but after discussion, they have decided that Lai will pull out of the race, although they will continue their district work in Kowloon East. The party’s chairman, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, is “still actively considering taking part in the Hong Kong Island elections,” they said.

The nomination period for the upcoming Legislative Council elections will begin this Saturday.

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.