Hong Kong’s largest pro-establishment political party has announced its list of 18 candidates for elections in December to a revamped legislature, which will have far fewer directly elected seats following a political overhaul ordered by Beijing.

DAB legco election candidates 2021
DAB LegCo election candidates meet the press. Photo: DAB.

Starry Lee, head of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said on Friday that both veterans and newcomers would vie for seats in the 90-strong Legislative Council.

Ten of the DAB candidates will run in directly-elected geographical constituencies, four will stand in functional constituencies representing special interest groups, and four more will stand in a sector reserved for Election Committee members.

DAB's LegCo hopeful, Edward Leung Hei
DAB’s LegCo hopeful, Edward Leung Hei. Photo: Edward Leung via Facebook.

The group includes a mix of DAB veterans and newcomers. Among the veterans Lau Kwok-fan will run for a seat in New Territories North, Starry Lee will contest Kowloon Central and Ben Chan Han-pan will stand in New Territories South West.

DAB 2021 LegCo election candidates: (click to view)

Geographical Constituencies

Hong Kong Island East: Edward Leung Hei
Hong Kong Island West: Chan Hok-fung
Kowloon East: Frankie Ngan Man-yu
Kowloon West: Vincent Cheng
Kowloon Central: Starry Lee
New Territories South East: Lee Sai-wing
New Territories North: Lau Kwok-fan
New Territories North West: Holden Chow
New Territories South West: Ben Chan Han-pan
New Territories North East: Gary Chan

Functional constituencies

Import & Expert: Kennedy Wong
Members of the NPC, the CPPCC and other national organisations: Brave Chan Yung
Fisheries and Agriculture: Stephen Ho
Social welfare: Chu Lai-ling

Election Committee

Horace Cheung
Elizabeth Quat
Nixie Lam
Joseph Chan

Newcomer Edward Leung Hei, a member of the DAB’s executive committee and graduate of the University of Southern California, will run in the Hong Kong Island East district and Vincent Cheng will run in his home district of Kowloon West. Cheng was a district councillor for Sham Shui Po until 2019.

The party’s slogan is “Reform, seek changes for the future.”

Lee also announced that four of the DAB’s longest-serving lawmakers would step down: Ann Chiang, Wong Ting-kwong, Leung Che-cheung and Wilson Or. Chiang announced on Facebook that she “will pass the baton to the younger generation” but continue to serve the community.

In March 2021, Beijing passed legislation to ensure only “patriots” govern Hong Kong. The move sharply reduced democratic representation in the legislature while expanding the number of seats from 70 to 90, tightened control of elections and introduced a pro-Beijing vetting panel to select candidates.

The Hong Kong government said the overhaul would ensure the city’s stability and prosperity. But the changes also prompted international condemnation, as it makes it much more difficult for pro-democracy candidates to stand.

The Democratic Party, the city’s largest pro-democracy political grouping, has said that none of its members have applied to stand in the December 19 election.

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Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.