Pro-democracy lawmakers have warned that Hong Kong people should not relax after the surprising announcement from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying that he will not seek re-election.
Leung said he decided not to run as his family may face unbearable pressure owing to his campaign and he is responsible for protecting his family.
Democrats said people can be happy for a moment, but they should not be relaxed for the election of the 1,200-member chief executive election committee on Sunday, or in the future when Leung is set to leave his post.
“We must continue consolidating public opinion to pressure the central government – under the current undemocratic 1,200-member system – not to choose another 689 [Leung],” said lawmaker James To Kun-sun.
The democratic camp aims to win 300 seats in the committee.
Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, a Civic Party lawmaker, said the 352 candidates of the pro-democracy camp still require support from voters.
“We must gain that power on Sunday,” he said.
No trust for Leung
Independent lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching said Leung’s decision was “to everyone’s satisfaction.”
See also: Hong Kong must not relax, democrats warn.
“But many people, including myself, cannot fully trust his statement – as you know, he has told many lies in the past four years,” she said. “What if there is a political crisis later in Hong Kong where Beijing convinces him to run again and he accepts?”
She said people should not harbour illusions that Beijing listens to Hongkongers.
“In the past we said ABC [Anyone but CY Leung], now people say R.IP [Regina Ip],” she said. Lawmaker Regina Ip is expected to announce her chief executive candidacy next week.
Lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu gave his regards to Leung’s family.
“I hope he sticks to his promise and does not suddenly come out and run again,” he said. “You can feel happy – actually I am too – you should be, for one night. But do not forget that Leung Chun-ying lodged the legal challenge against our four lawmaker colleagues.”
He urged the public to attend a rally on Saturday to support the lawmakers facing judicial reviews and to vote on Sunday.
Lau Siu-lai, one of the lawmakers being challenged, said Leung still has about six months remaining of his term.
“A good man without burden might use his remaining time to help people and realise his election platforms, pass a universal pension scheme, lower the disparity between the rich and the poor, build more public housing,” she said. “But a bad man could – because he has no burden anymore – do all kinds of evil.”
“We must continue to monitor Leung,” she added.
Eddie Chu Hoi-dick urged the public to look at the current political struggle from a wider perspective.
“The fact that we could not mobilise a large number of people after the disqualification of lawmakers and Beijing’s Basic Law interpretation means that we are weak,” he said. “We must grasp every single opportunity to mobilise.”