Hong Kong’s largest opposition party has rejected a request for support from five “non-pro-establishment” candidates in the upcoming “patriots-only” legislative election.

The decision not to back the five – which comes months after the Democratic Party resolved not to field candidates of its own – was made at a meeting of the party’s central committee on Monday.

The Democratic Party
The Democratic Party. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

It was, however, agreed that Democratic Party member Li Hung-por could endorse in a personal capacity one of the five, Adrian Lau, who is standing in the New Territories South West constituency.

Monday’s decision came after the five sought support from the party. Along with Lau, the grouping of candidates is made up of Tik Chi-yuen in the Social Welfare constituency, Jason Poon in Hong Kong Island East, Daryl Choi in New Territories South East, Nelson Wong in New Territories North East.

No Democratic Party members are running in the revamped Legislative Council election which takes place on December 19.

Other parties in the pro-democracy camp, including the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats, have also decided not to take part.

In March this year, Beijing passed legislation to ensure “patriots” govern Hong Kong. The move reduced democratic representation in the legislature, tightened control over elections and introduced a pro-Beijing vetting panel to select candidates.

Legislative Council election 2021 electoral overhaul
Publicity materials promoting the Legislative Council election scheduled on December 19, 2021. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Most pro-democracy figures remain behind bars, are in self-exile abroad, have quit politics or are barred from running.

Explanation demanded

Following reports that vice-chairperson of the Democratic Party Edith Leung signed a consent of support form for Poon, Chairperson Lo Kin-hei said in a statement published on Monday that the central committee has asked Leung to submit a written explanation for her actions and to attend the next party meeting to explain in person.

Poon says there has been a “misunderstanding” and Leung’s consent signature only related to her appearance on a talk show, amid fears that the content of the could lead to breaches of the Elections Ordinance.

HKFP has reached out to Lo for comment.

  • Candidates running in the Social Welfare constituency also include Chu Lai-ling and Yip Cham-kai.
  • Candidates running in the Hong Kong Island East constituency also include Edward Leung, Marcus Liu and Stanley Ng.
  • Candidates running in the New Territories South East constituency also include Stanley Li and Connie Lam.
  • Candidates running in the New Territories South West constituency also include Ben Chan and Joephy Chan.
  • Candidates running in the New Territories North East constituency also include Dominic Lee, Gary Chan, and Allan Wong.

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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.