More than 26,000 Hongkongers have voted in the pro-democracy camp primary election for the Legislative Council by-election in March.

The vote, which accounts for 45 per cent of the primary results, ended at 9pm on Sunday with 25,835 electronic ballots and 358 paper ballots made. Organisers Power for Democracy originally only expected some 8,000 votes from the eight polling stations.

“We are very grateful. We saw the public went to vote because of the bad performance of the new secretary for justice, and the public also treasured their votes to regain the disqualified seats in the March 11 by-election,” said Andrew Chiu, convener of Power for Democracy.

Andrew Chiu
Andrew Chiu (centre). Photo: Power for Democracy.

“The public wished to select the best pro-democracy candidate to fight against the pro-Beijing camp,” he added.

The primary’s results also depended on phone surveys conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme – which account for another 45 per cent of the result. Votes from participating pro-democracy organisations will account for the remaining 10 per cent. The result will be announced on Monday afternoon.

Edward Yiu, one of the six disqualified lawmakers, was up against Democratic Party District Councillor Ramon Yuen and Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood former lawmaker Frederick Fung in the primary election for the Kowloon West constituency.

pro-democracy camp primary election
Pro-democracy camp primary election polling station in Shek Kip Mei. Photo: HKFP/Elson Tong.

For New Territories East, Labour Party Chairperson Steven Kwok, former lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai of the Neo Democrats and former student leader Tommy Cheung participated in the race.

For the two remaining vacant seats to be contested on March 11, the pro-democracy camp decided to send Demosisto’s Agnes Chow for the Hong Kong Island constituency and Paul Zimmerman for the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency.

On the pro-Beijing side, Judy Chan of New People’s Party has announced her run for Hong Kong Island.

Vincent Cheng and Bill Tang of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong are expected to announce their candidacies for the Kowloon West and New Territories East constituency respectively on Monday night. Former lawmaker Tony Tse is tipped to run for the architectural sector seat.

The by-elections are taking place to replace four lawmakers ousted by a court over the controversial ways in which they took their oaths of office.

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.