A pro-Beijing lawmaker has claimed that the low number of questions asked by his camp’s members at the chief executive election debate on Sunday night was because the submission box was difficult to find.

All but two of the 21 questions, selected at random from 189 submissions, were from pro-democracy camp electors. Most were directed at front-runner Carrie Lam, who is seen as Beijing’s favourite.

Edward Lau Kwok-fun. Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

Edward Lau Kwok-fun, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, is an ex officio elector because of his lawmaker status. He attended the debate and said he submitted a question, but it was not drawn.

Lau said on a RTHK programme on Monday that many electors were unable to find the submission box.

“I helped six, seven people to put their questions in,” he said. “There was only one box, it was in the middle of the venue, not at the front, not at the back – it was maybe about at waist level, sometimes it was hard to see, unless you actively tried to find it. Therefore, it maybe affected how active people were.”

Lau said his party would discuss voting preferences on Friday for Sunday’s vote. Lau did not nominate anyone but said he has better confidence in Carrie Lam’s housing policies, and that he will vote in accordance with candidates’ performance, platform and popularity.

The debate. Photo: Facebook/John Tsang.

Former finance secretary John Tsang and ex-judge Woo Kwok-hing are also in the running.

Pan-dems favour Tsang

Charles Mok, pro-democracy lawmaker and co-organiser of the debate, said pro-Beijing and pro-democracy camp attendees were about evenly represented, according to his observation.

Mok said he will vote for John Tsang, and the 300-odd pro-democracy electors will discuss voting preferences on Monday night. However, it is unlikely they will make a unified voting decision.

After the debate on Sunday, the Democratic Party’s seven lawmakers decided to vote for Tsang. They will also urge electors, who are also members of the Democratic Party, to vote for Tsang.

“I believe the majority of our party members would vote for Tsang. His performance in debates, or polls conducted by universities, have clearly showed that Hong Kong people mostly support John Tsang,” said Wu Chi-wai, the party’s leader. “We can clearly see who can unite most Hong Kong people in this election, who can gain the public’s trust, who can restart Hong Kong and free it from its difficulties.”

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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.