The New People’s Party’s Judy Chan has announced that she will run for the Hong Kong Island constituency seat in the upcoming Legislative Council by-elections in March.

The pro-establishment Southern district councillor has received the support of the DAB and Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions. Chan will be up against Demosisto’s Agnes Chow, who announced her candidacy on Saturday.

At a press conference on Monday, Chan said that the oath-taking saga made her reflect upon Hong Kong’s future and development, as well as what she can do for the city. She said she was determined to defend the rule of law and for the legislative proceedings to return to rational discussion.

Judy Chan and Regina Ip. Photo: Facebook via 新民黨 New People’s Party.

Chan said she grew up on Hong Kong Island and later graduated from a university in Australia, then spent seven years working in the US. “But I still believe that Hong Kong is the best and my favourite place,” she said.

After she returned to Hong Kong in 2010, she said, “I started my political career in the New People’s Party and took up the responsibility of serving the community and Hong Kong.”

“Over the past seven years, I’ve experienced a lot of the city’s turmoil together with Hong Kong people. I’m sure many will remember the 79-day illegal occupation at the end of 2014 – the effects were most directly felt on Hong Kong Island. And as a resident of Hong Kong Island, I do not hope to see another Occupy Central again.”

Chan said that the Mong Kok unrest that broke out over the law enforcement’s clearance of street hawkers over Chinese New Year 2016 further divided society. “It’s now the third week of 2018 – is Hong Kong going to go on like this?”

Chan added that the current generation hopes to see a prosperous, stable, just and peaceful society, and she wished to play a role in this, thanking those who supported her in “bringing a rational voice into the legislature.”

Judy Chan and Regina Ip. File photo: Facebook via 新民黨 New People’s Party.

The by-elections will take place on March 11 in order to fill the seats in the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East constituencies, as well as the functional constituency for Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape.

The elections are to fill seats vacated after a court disqualified Baggio Leung, Yau Wai-ching, Nathan Law and Edward Yiu over their oath-taking. Two other disqualified lawmakers, Lau Siu-lai and Leung Kwok-hung, will be appealing their disqualifications, hence their seats are not up for election at this point.

Chan beat pro-democracy actress Erica Yuen for the district seat in 2014, and was placed second in the candidate list for New People’s Party heavyweight Regina Ip in the legislative elections two years later. Chan referred to Ip has a mentor who enlightened her politically.

Ip said on Monday that Chan was someone with a lot of potential in politics, with a global mindset, rich work experience and most importantly a responsibility towards society.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.