Legco president throws his hat in the ring again for post
Pro-government heavyweight Tsang Yok-sing launched his election campaign yesterday with a clear message for voters - do not vote for him if they want a lawmaker who speaks out on government policies. That is because he will once more seek the president's chair in the legislature.
Tsang, a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, is running in the Hong Kong Island constituency.
In the coming four years, he said, many controversial issues would be tabled for debate in Legco.
'For Legco to run effectively and to fulfil its constitutional role, it needs someone who is familiar with laws and procedures, able to chair Legco's work fairly and justly, with experience and capability to be its president,' he said.
'I hope this will give voters a clear message. If they believe they must vote for someone who will not contest the president's role - and who will speak out on policies - they should not vote for me.'
Tsang said his platform also included fighting for 'good democracy' for Hong Kong.
Also running in the constituency is Wong Kwok-hing, of the Beijing-loyalist Federation of Trade Unions. Tsang would not speculate on whether Wong's bid would split the pro-government support base.
Meanwhile, in the New Territories West constituency, Tuen Mun Rural Committee chairman and former Law Society president Junius Ho Kwan-yiu signed up as an independent candidate yesterday. He said he aimed to secure more than 40,000 votes and wanted to win more support from middle-class voters.
Meanwhile, uncertainties surrounding the Civic Party's Dutch-born district councillor Paul Zimmerman remained unresolved. It is still unclear as to whether he will contest a so-called super seat functional constituency or gain the backing of his own Civic Party.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said a final decision would be made by Saturday. But the five teams running the party's direct election campaigns in geographic constituencies expressed strong reservations about Zimmerman running in any constituency because of logistics reasons, according to a source in the Civic Party.
'Time is running short, and there is a lot of work in preparing [for a campaign],' Leong said before the meeting.
The functional constituencies were at the centre of media attention yesterday, as Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat signed up to contest another term in the kuk functional sector.
The incumbent medical sector legislator, Dr Leung Ka-lau, also launched his bid for re-election yesterday, running against former Medical Association president Dr Tse Hung-hing.
Meanwhile, the ICAC has so far received nine complaints about the Legco elections. Lily Chung Lai-tuen, a programme co-ordinator (elections) with the Independent Commission Against Corruption, said the complaints were mostly about candidates providing food and entertainment illegally. There were about 300 complaints in the 2008 elections.