Pro-democracy Legislative Council election candidate Ray Chan Chi-chuen has denied rumours that he will abandon his campaign due to low ratings in polls.

Chan, an incumbent lawmaker of the People Power party, has seen his level of support hover between 0.5 and 1 per cent in the New Territories East constituency since Sunday, according to a rolling poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme. Chan received 38,042 votes in the last election in 2012 in the same constituency – around eight per cent of the votes.

“Those spreading rumours are bad, fabricating facts,” he said during a Facebook live session on Monday night. “There is no need to believe it.”

Ray Chan Chi-chuen. Photo: Facebook.

“No matter if I am in first place or 18th place in the polls, I will not give up,” he said.

There are 22 lists of candidates running for the nine seats in his constituency. He said it would be impossible for him to find out who spread the rumours, but he asked his supporters to consider who will receive the benefit if his votes were shifted to other candidates.

“If the one spreading rumours is from the pro-democracy camp, I will be very disappointed,” he said.

Leung Chun-ying. Photo: GovHK.

An example

Chan was one of the three lawmakers who often wage filibusters in the legislature to stall controversial bills from passing.

“[Chief Executive] Leung Chun-ying would be very happy, as he said he wanted fewer lawmakers to start filibusters,” he added. “The pro-Beijing camp would be very happy – I made them unable to leave the chamber with no time to eat [during filibusters]; Those who want People Power to disappear would also be very happy.”

Chan is the first openly gay lawmaker. “Those who are against equal rights for gay people or homophobic people would be the happiest, as [they said] gay people should not be lawmakers.”

“If I fail, I believe in the next four years other pro-democracy lawmakers may not be so progressive anymore, because they can see from the example of me,” he said.

Ray Chan and members of his party in Hong Kong’s pride parade. Photo: Ray Chan.

Chan said he was one of the most active candidates in running election campaigns, as he recently rallied support in Ma On Shan, worked after midnight in Mong Kok and then attended a press conference on internet freedom.

There is no mechanism to withdraw from the election after a hopeful’s candidacy is confirmed.

The full list of candidates in the Legislative Council election on September 4 can be viewed here.


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.