Hong Kong Island pro-Beijing candidate Judy Chan said she hopes people will not make rash judgements before understanding the full details of confrontations which took place during Sunday’s by-election.

See also: HKFP Live Blog: Hong Kong Legislative By-election 2018

Earlier in the day, her pro-democracy rival Au Nok-hin’s team was surrounded by a group of people belonging to a pro-Beijing group – they swore at him, hurled abuse and shoved campaigners. Meanwhile, a car belonging to Au’s team was blocked from leaving Sai Ying Pun by pro-Beijing district councillor Sidney Lee, who was campaigning for Chan.

Chan has refused to withdraw her earlier accusation that Au “self-orchestrated” the attack during his press conference this morning in Aberdeen. Local media reported that one of the attackers was known pro-Beijing activist and taxi driver Jimmy Tso Tat-ming.

Judy Chan. Photo: New People’s Party

She said they were not her volunteers and she urged the police to investigate.

“I have full confidence in my team. Over the past few years, our belief is that irrational and violent acts cannot solve Hong Kong’s problems,” she told reporters at around 6pm. “These violent incidents cannot help with my election campaign.”

Her colleague, lawmaker Regina Ip, said she suspected that some people had falsely put the blame on her party.

“We have told our team to be restrained. Like you say, it does not help with our campaign, why would our people do that? We are worried that some people are stirring up trouble and blaming it on us,” she said.

Both camps have called for more voters to come out and vote as the turnout rate was much lower than the Legislative Council general election in September 2016.

A low turnout rate traditionally favours the pro-Beijing camp since the camp has more organisational power to urge people to vote.

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Priscilla Leung said the traditional “golden ratio” of 60 per cent of votes going to the democrats and 40 per cent going to the pro-Beijing camp may have been broken in this election.

The total voter turnout stood at 36.88 per cent as of 8:30pm. The overall turnout was 47.83 per cent by this time during the 2016 general legislative election.

  • On Hong Kong Island, 37.71 per cent of eligible voters had cast their ballot by 8:30pm. It was 50.08 per cent in September 2016.
  • In Kowloon West, 38.55 per cent had voted by 8:30pm. It was 48.45 per cent in 2016.
  • In New Territories East, 35.53 per cent had voted by 8:30pm. It was 48.95 per cent in 2016, and 39.39 per cent by 8.30pm during the by-election in February 2016.
  • For the Architectural constituency, 61.28 per cent had voted by 8:30pm. It was 63.36 per cent in September 2016.

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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.