Labour Party aims to raise HK$2m for Legco bid
The pan-democratic Labour Party plans to raise HK$2 million to fight its first Legislative Council election in September - a tenth of the war chest its rival the Federation of Trade Unions is seeking.
Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan admits the party is financially weaker than its unionist rival and has no district councillors to build support on the ground, but it will rely on its ally the Confederation of Trade Unions to help it build support.
Lee was elected on a CTU slate in 2008, but the 178,000-strong union grouping will not fight this year's poll.
'We aim to raise HK$2 million... Our candidates might have to dig into their own pockets to meet the expenses,' he said.
Party secretary Tam Chun-yin, also an organising secretary for the CTU, said the party would sell raffle tickets to raise funds.
The party, set up in December, plans to field eight candidates in the New Territories West, New Territories East and Hong Kong Island constituencies and defend the Social Welfare functional constituency. It hopes to win four seats.
The slates have not been formally agreed but Lee is expected to defend the New Territories West seat he won in 2008, with Tam possibly joining him on the ticket.
Its slate in New Territories East might include former welfare sector lawmaker Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung and party member Kwok Wing-kin. Cyd Ho, who won election in 2008 on a Civic Act-Up slate, is likely to top its list on Hong Kong Island, backed up by two other party members.
Welfare sector lawmaker Peter Cheung Kwok-che is also expected to defend his seat.
'In the New Territories East, our strongholds could be in Tai Wai, Sha Tin, Tai Po and Sheung Shui as Tseung Kwan O is already dominated by the NeoDemocrats,' said Tam, referring to a new party made up of former Democratic Party members. 'In the New Territories West, we might have stronger support bases in Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun.'
Tam also revealed that the CTU had set up a central database with details of about 30 per cent of its members to help with campaigning.
'We may send e-mails and texts to electors directly to help with our campaign,' Tam said. 'Although we have not got all the contact details of all our 178,000 members, we can ask our allies, like the Professional Teachers' Union, to help spread the message.'
There will be 70 seats up for grabs in September's polls, up from 60 in 2008, including five new 'super lawmakers' elected by a city-wide ballot of 3.2 million voters.