Democrat Adrian Lau has announced his candidacy for the upcoming legislative election after winning the nomination of ten Election Committee members. He will run for one of the two directly-elected seats representing New Territories South West.
The candidate, who submitted his nomination form on Tuesday, is running on the slogan “Fight for hope, Stay on for the people.”
“I always believe that as long as there is space, we must fight for it… a pluralistic legislature is the most beneficial to Hong Kong’s governance and development,” the democrat with no party affiliation wrote in his announcement on Monday.
He said the Legislative Council’s constitutional duties remain unchanged despite Beijing’s sweeping overhaul of the city’s electoral system to ensure that only “patriots” can govern.
Lau, 45, was elected as a district councillor for the Tsuen Wan district in 2019, when democrats secured a landslide victory in the district polls in the wake of months of anti-government unrest. He is a public relations and communications professional.
The city’s major democratic parties, the Democratic Party, the Civic Party, and the League of Social Democrats, have not fielded candidates for the December 19 election.
Only 20 of the 90 LegCo seats under Beijing’s overhaul are elected directly by the public compared to half of them previously. Candidates must also secure nominations from at least ten members of the largely pro-Beijing Election Committee.
At least four other candidates who are not aligned with the establishment camp have also announced their candidacies since nominations began at the end of October. The nomination period ends on Friday.
Mandy Tam, a former representative of the accounting functional constituency and founding member of the Civic Party, fielded her candidacy on October 30. She is running as an independent for the Kowloon Central constituency.
“I stand for election because I hope to be able to monitor the government and serve the public so that the Legislative Council can have diverse voices,” the 64-year-old wrote on her Facebook page.
District councillor for the Sai Kung district Daryl Choi announced his candidacy for the New Territories South East constituency.
He told reporters on Monday that he wanted to be a “democratic voice” in the legislature, according to StandNews, denying he had been approached by mainland Chinese agents to run for the elections.
The centrist Third Side party’s Tik Chi-yuen will contest a seat in the social welfare constituency. Tik was a founding member of the Democratic Party, but left in 2015 and describes himself as “non-establishment.”
Fong Lung-fei, a pro-democracy district councillor for the Islands District, will run for the Hong Kong Island West constituency. He wrote on his Facebook page that he was running on the principles of reasonableness, rationality and lawfulness.
Beijing announced the revamp in March to ensure only “patriots” govern Hong Kong. The electoral amendments reduced democratic representation in the legislature, 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 they make it much more difficult for pro-democracy candidates to stand.
Most members of the city’s political opposition are either on remand pending trial for national security charges or other offences, or have fled into self-exile abroad, or are barred from running.
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