Dutch-born councillor kicks off Legco campaign

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 July, 2012, 12:00am


Civic Party member Paul Zimmerman has begun his campaign as an independent candidate in September's legislative elections, which the party fears may hurt the chances of other members.

A copy of an e-mail from Zimmerman, obtained by the South China Morning Post and dated on Wednesday, shows that the Dutch-born Southern District councillor has begun asking for nominations.

It was sent out a day after Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said that he was talking with Zimmerman in an effort to avoid a split in the party while reaching a satisfactory arrangement for all concerned.

Zimmerman has said he was not willing to join the party ticket, which is expected to be led by former party chairman Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok and lawmaker Tanya Chan.

Zimmerman's e-mail says: 'I hope I can have your support and signature, and however many supporting family members and friends you can add. We can collect the form when ready.'

Zimmerman, who became a Chinese national on Wednesday - making him qualified to run - earlier said he might quit the party to run in the Hong Kong Island constituency or run as a party member for one of the five new district-council functional constituency seats.

Tanya Chan said the party's management was talking with fellow district councillors and the NeoDemocrats to see if they could nominate Zimmerman to contest one of the so-called super seats.

NeoDemocrat district councillor Gary Fan Kwok-wai said he and seven other councillors had yet to decide whether to nominate Zimmerman, and a meeting might be arranged between them and the Civic Party.

Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang said the next Legislative Council term was crucial because it would address the electoral methods of the 2017 chief executive race under universal suffrage, and the 2016 Legco election.

She appealed to the media to monitor whether the city's freedoms and rights were being eroded under Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's administration.

That should be a higher priority than digging out top officials with illegal structures at their homes, she said.

Yesterday - the second day of the nominations period, which is due to end on July 31 - the Registration and Electoral Office said six more forms for direct elections had been received, bringing the total to 29.

Four more nomination forms were received for functional constituencies, making the total 20.

In the finance sector, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Trustees chairman Ng Leung-sing submitted his nomination yesterday. He will probably be the only candidate in the sector, according to bankers.

Incumbent David Li Kwok-po, the chairman of Bank of East Asia, will not seek re-election and supports Ng.

In the legal sector, barrister Dennis Kwok Wing-hang of the Civic Party yesterday declared his candidacy for the seat currently held by colleague Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, who is not contesting the seat. He will take on Huen Wong, a former president of the Law Society.

In the Heung Yee Kuk sector, kuk members at a meeting yesterday unanimously agreed that chairman Lau Wong-fat should run for re-election. Lau said he would announce his decision next week.