At least three more people announced their candidacies on Wednesday for Hong Kong’s legislative race, including Jeffrey Chan, member of political think tank Path of Democracy, which was struggling to obtain nominations.

Chan, a self-described medical technology expert announced his candidacy for Kowloon East on Wednesday. He was the second member from Path of Democracy, a think tank founded by Executive Council member and former democrat Ronny Tong, to obtain the necessary number of nominations.

Jeffrey Chan. Photo: Jeffrey Chan, via Facebook.

Allan Wong was the first member of the self-proclaimed non-pro-establishment Path of Democracy to receive enough nominations for the “patriots only” Legislative Council (LegCo) race in New Territories North East.

Wong announced his candidacy on Monday. According to Stand News, Wong said he was told to change from the New Territory North constituency by someone “with some status in society.”

Path of Democracy initially planned to send five people to run in the newly-restricted LegCo election. With the nomination period ending on Friday, only two of the think tank’s members submitted candidacies.

Tong told the press last Thursday that “I don’t know why” the group was struggling to obtain nominations.

LegCo veteran

Veteran pro-establishment lawmaker Michael Tien also submitted his candidacy on Wednesday. Tien was first elected to the LegCo in 2012.

The businessman wrote in his manifesto that “in order to implement suggestions beneficial to Hong Kong, a good relation with the government has to be maintained,” but at the same time “one has to have the courage to criticise the government.”

According to HK01, Tien said he had received 20 nominations, double the required amount, and the process to obtain nominations “was not that difficult.”

In March 2021, Beijing passed a decision 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 it makes it almost impossible for pro-democracy candidates to stand.

‘Not all the same’

National People’s Congress (NPC) delegate Maggie Chan was another pro-Beijing figure who handed in her candidacy for the LegCo race in the Election Committee constituency. She will therefore not face a public vote.

Maggie Chan. File photo: Maggie Chan, via Facebook.

Chan listed “defending national security” and “completing the legislation of Article 23” in her manifesto, along with the slogan “staunch for the country, sincere for the people.”

The NPC delegate was asked about nominating Mandy Tam, a founding member of the pro-democracy Civic Party, when she submitted her candidacy at the government headquarters in Admiralty.

According to Stand News, Chan replied that the new electoral system required diversity and “not all the same” candidates, and that Tam’s oath in the District Council was accepted.

Most of Hong Kong’s opposition are behind bars, have gone into self-exile, have quit politics or are banned from running in elections.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.