Borderline NPC hopefuls spend night on phone

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 December, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 December, 1997, 12:00am

Marginal candidates in today's selection of National People's Congress deputies were carrying out last-ditch lobbying last night.

Provisional legislator David Chu Yu-lin, who ranked 38th in Saturday's pre-selection of 54 candidates for the 36 posts, said he was relying on friends.

'There's not enough time to do any more visits or dinners. So I have about 20 friends from the provisional legislature and the business sector helping me call up members from the selection panel,' he said. 'I guess we've made more than 200 calls.' Nicky Chan Nai-keong, who ranked 39th, said his supporters would help lobby the voters today.

'It is hard to contact all my voters because I do not have their home telephone numbers. Anyway, I do not rely on personal relations but my expertise in engineering.' The 424-strong selection assembly begins choosing the candidates at 9 am.

Polytechnic University associate professor Priscilla Lau Pui-king, who ranked 30th on Saturday, said there were a lot of variables for candidates ranked beyond 25th.

'The votes we got were very close. Now that some people have already been screened out, the remaining votes will be redistributed which will create much uncertainty,' Ms Lau said.

Ronald Arculli from the Liberal Party continued to phone voters he knew personally during the weekend, though he did not have much confidence. 'I guess my chances of losing are bigger than winning. I ranked 50th,' Mr Arculli said.

Chinese University Professor Lau Siu-kai expected changes to Saturday's ranking in today's vote. For instance, Tso Wan-wai, who came 29th with 213 votes, had only six votes more than 36th-placed Ngai Shiu-kit.