Localist group Hong Kong Indigenous has confirmed its “Plan B” for the LegCo elections: a fresh list of candidates will be running in the New Territories East constituency as an alternative choice, should the group’s Edward Leung Tin-kei be barred from running.

Leading the list is localist group Youngspiration’s convenor Baggio Leung Chung-hang, whilst a former member of Hong Kong Indigenous, Li Tung-sing, is running in second place on the list.

The move came after Edward Leung distanced himself from advocating Hong Kong independence and agreed to sign the controversial new Basic Law confirmation form in hopes of being able to run in the Legislative Council election, although it was still uncertain whether the returning officer would validate his candidacy.

Edward Leung Baggio Leung
Edward Leung and Baggio Leung. Photos: SocREC, Stand News.

Hong Kong Indigenous spokesperson Ray Wong Toi-yeung said Li Tung-sing “strategically withdrew” from the group on Thursday morning. Li was charged for rioting after the Mong Kok clashes in February, while Edward Leung was charged with participating in and inciting riot.

“We need to help these people who are willing to make sacrifices; we need some practical support, such as volunteer lawyers – and to help them, we need a Legislative Council seat,” Wong said, referring to those being prosecuted for rioting.

“A seat could bring resources and exposure – we need people from outside Hong Kong to see us, to know us. We need your support and for you to understand that everything we gain from the election will be used to help these people.”

Edward Leung Tin-kei
Edward Leung Tin-kei.

Substitute candidate

Wong criticised the government for using administrative means and using legal loopholes to stop Edward Leung from running.

“They deeply understand that if we win the election, we can help more of those under suppression, breaking apart their plan to make us surrender,” he said.

Wong said Baggio Leung was listed as a “substitute candidate” as he was the only feasible choice who was willing to help Hong Kong Indigenous. Leung will side with the group’s political stance – except the stance on Hong Kong Independence, which Youngspiration did not officially support.

“[He] agreed that if he gets a seat, all the power he receives will be used to help Edward Leung and Hong Kong Indigenous, in a legal way,” Wong said.

Baggio Leung Chun-hang of Youngspiration
Baggio Leung Chun-hang of Youngspiration. Photo: Youngspiration.

Baggio Leung said that Youngspiration’s political stance was “not very different” from Hong Kong Indigenous.

“If the Electoral Affairs Commission wants to find loopholes [to bar him from running], they know how,” he said. “But when I was running on the New Territories West list… the candidacy was confirmed. I cannot see any reason – under the existing rules – to bar us from running.”

When asked about the reason for withdrawing from Hong Kong Indigenous, Li Tung-sing said: “I realised that Baggio Leung and I both love the Basic Law and uphold the Basic Law.”

Leung and Li said they will not sign the new confirmation form, as the candidacy of some hopefuls – both of those signed or refused to sign – have been confirmed.

Wong also said that should Edward Leung be barred from running, his group would produce a list of candidates in all five geographical constituencies that support the group’s stance, so that its supporters could still have the choice to vote for them in different areas.

The nomination period for the LegCo elections ended at 5pm on Friday.

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.