The legislative race on December 19 will be the city’s first general election after Beijing ordered sweeping electoral changes to ensure only “patriots” hold power. Under the overhaul, the general public will only elect 20 out of the 90 seats in the legislature.
The rest will be selected by industry-specific interest groups, such as tourism, accounting and legal sectors, as well as a 1,500-seat Election Committee, which includes Hong Kong delegates to the Chinese top legislature.
All election hopefuls were vetted to ensure they abide by the Beijing-imposed national security law and will pledge allegiance to the government. Traditional opposition parties have put forward no candidates, while many pro-democracy figures are behind bars, in self-exile abroad, are barred from running or have quit politics.
As candidate election platforms are published, HKFP gives focus to some of the more unusual and noteworthy promises, slogans and campaigns.
Chen Xiaofeng – ‘No change’
Chen Xiaofeng, a legal constituency candidate standing against Ambrose Lam, launched his platform under the slogan “no change.”
The legal scholar’s campaign promises included upholding the rule of law, protecting traditions, and at the same time seeking innovation.
Michael Rowse – ‘we can make HK tick’
Former director-general of InvestHK Michael Rowse, a candidate in the Election Committee constituency, ran his campaign under the slogan “together we can make Hong Kong tick.”
The former government official and radio host declared himself as an independent candidate. In his candidate introduction, Rowse did not put forward any policy suggestions.
With major pro-democracy parties not putting forward any candidates – including the Democratic Party, Civic Party, and the League of Social Democrats – a dozen candidates proclaimed themselves as “non-pro-establishment.”
Of the 153 candidates running for the 90 seats, only four candidates – Wilson Wong in the Engineering constituency, Nelson Wong in New Territories North East, Adrian Lau in New Territories South West, and Daryl Choi in New Territories South East – mentioned universal suffrage in their campaigns, a promise enshrined in the Basic Law.
Wong, who was a former member of the Democratic Party and former lawmaker, also declared that supports “opposing anyone using the national security law as a tool of denunciation.”
Andrew Fung – ‘Fulfilling HKers’ dreams’
Andrew Fung is a candidate in the Election Committee constituency and former aide to Leung Chung-ying, the former chief executive. He wrote in his candidate introduction that he would “regularly arrange for Hong Kong youngsters to go on exchange visits to Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Tibet.”
“Life’s meaning is fulfilling dreams, [I will] join the legislature to fulfil dreams for Hong Kong people, fulfil the dream of reopening borders, fulfil the dream of buying a home, fulfil young people’s dreams of moving up the social ladder.”
Fung did not put forward any political affiliation, and declared his occupation as a current affairs commentator.
Tik Chi-yuen – ‘do you really want monochrome?’
Self-proclaimed centrist Tik Chi-yuen, who is a candidate in the social welfare constituency, placed a blue poster with a white dot in the middle as his electoral message. The accompanying slogan says: “do you really want monochrome?”
Tik, who is a social worker, founded and chairs the Third Side party. He was also a former lawmaker and a founding member of the Democratic Party.
Marcus Liu Tin-shing – ‘Yes we can!’
The New People’s Party’s Marcus Liu Tin-Shing is channelling ex-US president Barack Obama in his campaign platform.
With the backing of party chief Regina Ip, his slogan is for the Hong Kong Island East race is “yes we can!”
Candidates running in the New Territories North East include Chan Hak-yan, Dominic Lee, Allan Wong and Nelson Wong. Candidates running in the New Territories South West include Adrian Lau, Chan Han-pan, Chan Wing-yan. Candidates running in the New Territories South East include Daryl Choi, Li Sai-wing, Lam So-wai. Candidates running in the social welfare constituency include Chu Lai-ling, Yip Cham-kai, and Tik Chi-yuen. Candidates running in Hong Kong Island East include Edward Leung Hei, Marcus Liu Tin-shing, Stanley Ng Chau-pei and Jason Poon Chuk-hung. Candidates running in the election committee constituency can be found here.
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