Pan-democratic activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu announced his resignation from the Civic Party on Thursday in order to run for the Social Welfare functional constituency in the upcoming Legislative Council election.

Tsang’s decision would pit him against two other prominent pan-democratic candidates in the LegCo race: Yip Kun-chung of the Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union and Shiu Ka-chun of Reclaiming Social Work Movement.

In addition, Alex Kwan Yui-huen of the Social Workers Registration Board, who was labelled as “non-democratic” and “pro-establishment” by Ta Kung Pao, would also be running for the functional constituency.

ken tsang
Ken Tsang. Photo: Todd Darling/HKFP.

“[I] felt that there have been an endless amount of ridiculous incidents happening in Hong Kong and to myself in recent years,” Tsang wrote Thursday on his Facebook page. “Hong Kong people have been suppressed for a long time, therefore I have decided not to remain passive and step forward into the fight in LegCo.”

Tsang has received extensive media attention this year during the legal case against seven police officers who were accused of assaulting him during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protest.

Tsang unsuccessfully sought the Civic Party’s nomination for the Social Welfare constituency during the nomination period.

In June, the three pan-democrat candidates – Tsang, Yip and Shiu – failed to agree on who should be running for the seat after a plan to create a primary contest between them fell apart due to the difficulty of confirming the identity of voters in the functional constituency and an inadequate number of polling stations.

Shiu Ka-chun Yip Kin-chung Ken Tsang
From left: Shiu Ka-chun, Yip Kin-chung and Ken Tsang Kin-chiu.

The Social Welfare functional constituency has been occupied by pro-democracy candidates for the past 20 years and is expected to have 13,794 individually registered voters in the September election.

In 2012, pro-democracy candidate Cheung Kwok-che – representing the Social Workers’ General Union – received 9,078 votes and beat pro-Beijing candidate Chan Yee-fei, who received 1,113 votes.

Last month, Yip said that even if there were three candidates from the pro-democracy camp splitting the votes, and the pro-Beijing camp’s votes doubled, the pro-democracy camp would still likely win the election.

In May, Ken Tsang was sentenced to five weeks in prison after being found guilty of three counts of assaulting police and resisting arrest.

Tsang, 40, was accused of attacking police officers and then resisting arrest during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in October 2014. He was charged with one count of police assault and four of resisting arrest.

In a separate court case, seven police officers are facing charges for allegedly kicking and punching Tsang in a “dark corner” in Tamar Park in Admiralty on the same day.

Gene Lin

Gene Lin

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.