Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp held primary elections last weekend ahead of the Legislative Council elections on September 6. Results of the primaries, together with polls, will be consolidated into a list of recommended candidates in order to achieve the goal of winning over 35 seats in the legislature – a majority.

The primaries involved five directly elected geographical constituencies – Kowloon East, Kowloon West, Hong Kong Island, New Territories East and New Territories West, “super district councillor” seats, as well as the public health sector.

Democrat primary election
Photo: Studio Incendo.

Some candidates expressed concern they may be barred from September’s race following the disqualification of previous candidates over their views, and the ousting of lawmakers over protests during the oath-taking in 2016. With the new national security law, which criminalises acts of treason, secession and terrorism – and a new regulation which requires candidates to sign a promise that they will uphold the city’s mini-constitution – candidates are again fearing disqualification.

Beijing blasted the primaries as a “serious provocation” of the current electoral system. Nevertheless, the turnout exceeded 600,000 and has been seen as a protest vote against the controversial security law.

Localist resistance camp

democratic camp primaries legco 2020
(Top, left to right) Winnie Yu, Tiffany Yuen, Frankie Fung, Kinda Li, Henry Wong, Sam Cheung, Ng Kin-wai, Ventus Lau, Gwyneth Ho, Eddie Chu. (Bottom, left to right) Fergus Leung, Sunny Cheung, Joshua Wong, Lester Shum, Wong Ji-yuet, Owen Chow. Photo: Rachel Wong/HKFP.

Sixteen winners – calling themselves the “localist resistance camp” – met the press on Wednesday, promising to use constitutional power to veto the government budget despite warnings from the authorities that the gesture may be a violation of the national security law.

They also reaffirmed their stance on opposing the national security legislation when asked by reporters if they would sign any confirmation that they would uphold the law.

HKFP rounds up more of the primary winners – dominated by young and fresh faces.

Hong Kong Island

Seven individuals or groups stood in the primaries for the Hong Kong Island constituency – resulting in 90,427 votes and generating four winners.

Incumbent lawmaker Ted Hui, Democratic Party

Ted Hui, 38, won 28,189 votes. He has been a Central and Western District Councillor for Chung Wan since 2012 and was elected into the Legislative Council in 2016.

ted hui
Ted Hui. Photo: Ted Hui, via Facebook.

Southern District Councillor Tiffany Yuen

Tiffany Yuen, 26, won 19,844 votes. She was a member of the now-disbanded Demosisto group and acted as vice-chair between 2016 and 2018. Yuen was elected as a district councillor for the Tin Wan constituency in 2019.

tiffany yuen
Tiffany Yuen. Photo: Tiffany Yuen, via Facebook.

Central and Western District Councillor Fergus Leung

Fergus Leung, 23, won 14,743 votes. He was elected as a district councillor for Kwun Lung constituency in 2019.

fergus leung
Fergus Leung. Photo: Fergus Leung, via Facebook.

Eastern District Councillor Tat Cheng, Civic Party

Tat Cheng, 31, won 11,090 votes. Cheng, a member of Civic Party since 2012 and its vice secretary-general from 2016 to 2018, has been a district councillor for the Tanner constituency since 2015. He stood in the 2016 Legislative Council election alongside incumbent lawmaker Tanya Chan of the same party.

tat cheng
Tat Cheng. Photo: Tat Cheng, via Facebook.

Kowloon West

Nine individuals or groups stood in the primaries for the Kowloon West constituency – resulting in 81,021 votes and generating four winners. One of the pre-agreed terms among candidates of the constituency was to confirm the exact number of candidates that will represent the democratic camp in meetings that follow the primary results.

Jimmy Sham, League of Social Democrats

Jimmy Sham, 33, won 25,670 votes. He is the vice-chair of League of Social Democrats and convenor of Civil Human Rights Front, the organiser of several peaceful large-scale rallies last year.

jimmy sham
Jimmy Sham. Photo: Jimmy Sham, via Facebook.

Sunny Cheung

Sunny Cheung, 24, won 16,992 votes. He was formerly the spokesperson for the Hong Kong Higher Institutions International Affairs Delegation and the spokesperson for Network DIPLO – which he disbanded following the enactment of the national security law.

sunny cheung
Sunny Cheung. Photo: Sunny Cheung, via Facebook.
Campaign launch speech – click to view

We witnessed internal conflict among various groups in our civil society in the past. But today we choose not to amplify the divide, but [to express] our determination to resist against our common enemy. Over the past year, I partook in various international lobbying. Under the looming national security law, I anticipate i will be targeted by the regime’s revenge and score-settling. Yet, I have no regret because standing with seven million Hongkongers is my greatest honour.

Incumbent lawmaker Claudia Mo, Hong Kong First

Claudia Mo, 63, won 9,308 votes. She has been a lawmaker for the constituency since 2012 and was a member of the Civic Party between 2006 and 2016.

claudia mo
Claudia Mo. Photo: Claudia Mo, via Facebook.

Kalvin Ho, Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood

Kalvin Ho, 31, won 7,791 votes. He is the vice-chair of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood and district councillor for the Nam Cheong East constituency. He was a vice-convener of the Civil Human Rights Front between 2018 and 2019.

kalvin ho
Kalvin Ho. Photo: Kalvin Ho, via Facebook.

Kowloon East

With the aim to win three pro-democracy seats, six politicians stood in the primaries for the Kowloon East constituency, resulting in 92,222 votes in order to generate five representatives.

Joshua Wong

Joshua Wong, 23, won 31,398 votes. At the age of 14, he co-founded student group Scholarism to protest against the Education Bureau’s plan to implement a national education syllabus. The group dissolved in 2016 and was later merged into political group Demosisto. Wong was its secretary-general until the eve of the enactment of the national security law when he announced his resignation. He was the only candidate that was disqualified during the 2019 District Councils election. Demosisto has since disbanded.

joshua wong
Joshua Wong. Photo: Joshua Wong, via Facebook.

Incumbent lawmaker Jeremy Tam, Civic Party

Jeremy Tam, 45, won 23,244 votes. He was an airline pilot for 18 years and was elected into the Legislative Council in 2015 as a Civic Party member.

jeremy tam
Jeremy Tam. Photo: Jeremy Tam, via Facebook.

Kwun Tong District Councillor Kinda Li

Kinda Li, 29, won 15,194 votes. He was elected as a district councillor for Hip Hong constituency in 2019.

kinda li
Kinda Li. Photo: Kinda Li, via Facebook.

Tam Tak-chi, People Power

Tam Tak-chi, 47, won 10,980 votes. He ran in both the 2016 Legislative Council and the 2019 District Councils election as a People Power member, but was defeated in both.

Tam Tak-chi
Tam Tak-chi. File photo: Etan Liam, via Flickr.

Incumbent lawmaker Wu Chi-wai, Democratic Party

Wu Chi-wai, 57, won 10,421 votes. He has been the Democratic Party chair since 2016, is an incumbent lawmaker. He was a Wong Tai Sin district councillor between 2000 and 2019.

Wu Chi-wai
Wu Chi-wai. File Photo: inmediahk.net.

New Territories East

Twelve individuals or groups stood in the primaries for the New Territories East constituency resulting in 164,453 votes. According to an internal meeting among candidates, six or seven representatives will be put forward for the democratic camp.

Gwyneth Ho

Gwyneth Ho, 29, won 26,802 votes. She is a former Stand News reporter and was assaulted by a group of rod-wielding attackers during the Yuen Long mob attack on July 21 last year during her reporting.

gwyneth ho legco democratic camp primary
Gwyneth Ho. Photo: Gwyneth Ho, via Facebook.
Campaign launch speech – click to view

I remove my press card because I want to become a protester and stand with Hongkongers. Together we face our common destiny, just like the evening [on July 1] when protesters disregarded their own safety to rescue protesters inside [the legislature…]. I will continue to resist with all of you and never surrender until my last breath.

Ventus Lau

ventus lau
Ventus Lau. Photo: Ventus Lau, via Facebook.

Ventus Lau, 26, won 26,707 votes. He is the spokesperson for the Civil Assembly Team which organised various peaceful, large rallies at Chater Garden and Edinburgh Square last year. He is also the convenor of Sha Tin Community Network. Lau may face ten years in prison after he was charged with rioting for entering the Legislative Council chamber during a protest last July 1.

Lau on his candidacy – click to view

This primary election has no screening, no disqualifications and citizens should vote for the candidate that is worth your ballot most. With my rioting charges, I am truly standing with all protesters and sharing a common destiny with them. I hope you will all vote for a candidate who the government calls a rioter.

Incumbent lawmaker Alvin Yeung, Civic Party

Alvin Yeung, 39, won 25,366 votes. He is the leader of Civic Party and was elected into the Legislative Council during the 2016 by-election.

Alvin Yeung
Alvin Yeung. Photo: Screenshot.

Incumbent lawmaker Ray Chan, People Power

Ray Chan, 38, won 17,101 votes. He is the chair of People Power and has been a lawmaker since 2012.

Ray Chan
People Power lawmaker Ray Chan. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.
On police brutality – click to view

The extradition bill movement goes on for a year. Police brutality is yet to be curbed and the evil national security is looming. No matter if it is inside the legislature, to stop the absurd law – or fierce fights in the streets – our situation is made more severe by the totalitarian regime’s aggression… Hongkongers’ future will be peppered with hardships but we will give the Communist regime and the pro-establishment camp a hard time.

Owen Chow

Owen Chow, a 23-year-old nursing student, won 16,758 votes in the primaries.

owen chow
Owen Chow. Photo: Owen Chow, via Facebook.
At election forum – click to view

Hongkongers do not need a people’s representative who would only resist when the election is approaching. We need a representative who would take the initiative to lead. The primary election is a chance to eliminate all politicians who muddle on.

Incumbent lawmaker and Northern District Councillor Lam Cheuk-ting, Democratic Party

Lam Cheuk-ting, 43, won 15,315 votes. He was elected into the legislature in 2016 and has been the district councillor for Shek Wu Hui constituency since 2015.

Lam Cheuk-ting
Lam Cheuk-ting. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Gary Fan, NeoDemocrats

Gary Fan, 53, won 10,156 votes. He founded the NeoDemocrats after quitting the Democratic Party in 2010 and was first elected into the legislature in 2012. He was defeated in the 2016 election and re-elected during a by-election, but he was again unseated following Ventus Lau’s election petition. He has held the position of Wan Hang district councillor since 2000.

Gary Fan. Photo: Gary Fan, via Facebook.

New Territories West

New Territories West is the only constituency that set a quorum for the primaries validity. Around 48,000 votes – or 10 percent of the pro-democracy voters’ turnout at the 2019 district councils election – would be needed. The turnout was triple the quorum with 176,537 votes cast. Six of the eight candidates will proceed to represent the democratic camp.

Incumbent lawmaker Eddie Chu

Eddie Chu, 42, won 49,901 votes. He was elected into the legislature in 2016 with 84,121 votes – double the number of votes of the next most popular pro-democracy camp winner. He is currently facing a fine of over HK$100,000 for throwing an odorous liquid during a legislative debate about the national anthem bill.

Eddie Chu
Eddie Chu. Photo: Legislative Council, via Flickr.

Tuen Mun District Councillor Sam Cheung

Sam Cheung, 26, won 35,513 votes. He was elected as the district councillor for San Hui constituency and organised several “Reclaim Tuen Mun Park” protests against the alleged nuisance caused by “dancing aunties.”

sam cheung
Sam Cheung. Photo: Sam Cheung, via Facebook.
On ‘our times’ in the protests contextclick to view

What does it mean to be in “our times?” There may be hardship and hurdles, such as the events of the past year and the authority’s oppression of the primaries… However, oppression and suffering are not the only thing that build “our times.” More importantly there are Hongkongers who persevere and, together, this is a time that truly belongs to our people.

Wong Ji-yuet

Wong Ji-yuet, 22, won 22,911 votes. She was a spokesperson for student group Scholarism between 2015 and 2016. She was charged with rioting on Pitt Street last November during the nearly-two-week police siege of Polytechnic University.

wong ji yuet legco democratic primary
Wong Ji-yuet. Photo: Wong Ji-yuet, via Facebook.
On the primaries objective of winning a legislative majority – click to view

35+ is actually “DQ 35+,” or worse, “jailing 35+.” We voice our opposition against the national security law and we should expect to face imprisonment in a maximum security jail in Beijing. But it’s also precisely the determination candidates should have. I am already facing potential imprisonment of 10 years under rioting charges… Therefore, I would not mind doing more.

Yuen Long District Councillor Ng Kin-wai

Ng Kin-wai, 24, won 20,525 votes. He was elected as the dsitrict councillor for Kingswood North constituency as a member of Tin Shui Wai Connection.

ng kin wai
Ng Kin-wai. Photo: Ng Kin-wai, via Facebook.

Incumbent lawmaker Andrew Wan, Democratic Party

Andrew Wan, 51, won 18,608 votes. He is a vice-chair of the Democratic Party and was elected into the legislature in 2016. He was the district councillor for Shek Yam constituency between 2004 and 2015 and during the term that began in 2020.

Andrew Wan
Democratic Party’s Andrew Wan. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Incumbent lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki, Civic Party

Kwok Ka-ki, 58, won 13,354 votes. He was a lawmaker for the medical sector between 2004 and 2008, a geographical constituency lawmaker since 2012, and a Central and Western district council from 1999 to 2007.

Legislative councillor Kwok Ka-ki
Legislative councillor Kwok Ka-ki. Photo: inmediahk.net.

“Super” District Councillors

Eligible voters who do not belong to any traditional functional constituency can cast a vote for district councillors who are vying for a seat in the legislature – commonly known as “super” district councillors. Four out of the five candidates will represent the camp in the upcoming election.

Incumbent lawmaker and Yuen Long District Councillor Roy Kwong, Democratic Party

Roy Kwong, 37, won 268,630 votes – double the number of the next runner-up. The Democratic Party politician was elected into the Legislative Council in 2016 and has been the district councillor for the Pek Long constituency since 2008.

Roy Kwong
Roy Kwong. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Tsuen Wan District Councillor Lester Shum

Lester Shum, 26, won 129,074 votes. He was the former leader of Umbrella Movement in 2014 and later elected as a Hoi Bun district councillor in 2019.

Lester Shum
Lester Shum. Photo: Karen Cheung/HKFP.
On the “resistance camp” following the year-long protest – click to view

The movement is currently stagnant and our city is clouded by fear. If we can impose a larger cost on our opponent in the legislature, for instance to create a circumstance that is unacceptable to Beijing, this is what I mean by breaking the stagnation… You asked if I am confident that the resistance camp can win over the majority of the seats. My answer is yes. In the past year we witnessed Hongkongers’ determination to resist and their acceptance to different protest tactics. I believe that their determination will not be shaken by the national security law enactment.

Yuen Long District Councillor Henry Wong

Henry Wong, 29, won 71,706 votes. He was elected as the district councillor for Tin Heng constituency in 2019, following his defeat in 2015.

henry wong yuen long district councillor
Henry Wong. Photo: Henry Wong, via Facebook.
On democratic camp factions – click to view

Solidarity is crucial to protests in the past and resistance in the future. The general public may have an impression of the localist camp being reluctant to coordinate with the pan-democratic parties… We learned to stand in solidarity if we wish to fight the Chinese Communist Party and reclaim Hong Kong.

Incumbent lawmaker and Yau Tsim Mong District Councillor James To, Democratic Party

57-year-old James To is the most senior incumbent lawmaker. The founding member of the Democratic Party won 49,991 votes.

james to
James To. Photo: James To, via Facebook.

Health services

Winnie Yu

Winnie Yu – chairperson of Hospital Authority Employees Alliance (HAEA) – won 2,493 out of 3,281 votes among four candidates. She organised the medical sector strike urging the government to close Hong Kong’s border with mainland China and provide adequate personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers in February when the Covid-19 pandemic emerged.

Incumbent lawmaker for the sector since 2004 Joseph Lee – who is also in the race – won 218 votes.

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.