Legal rivals launch lobbying campaigns

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2002, 12:00am

Two heavyweight candidates for the legal sub-sector of the Election Committee which chooses the chief executive have started lobbying for Sunday's by-election.

Former Bar Association chairman Ronny Tong Ka-wah, SC, and former Law Society president Anthony Chow Wing-kin have issued campaign pamphlets to voters. Some lawyers have also received phone calls from Mr Tong reminding them to vote.

One lawyer said Mr Tong may have a higher chance of winning as he shared the same stance as non-affiliated legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee on human rights and the rule of law. Ms Ng defeated Mr Chow in the 2000 Legco election for the legal sector, running on such a platform.

Both Ms Ng and Mr Tong opposed the reinterpretation of the Basic Law in the right of abode saga in 1999.

However, the lawyer also warned that Mr Tong could lose if turnout was low because of apathy over the prospect of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa being returned unopposed.

'Lawyers may not be enthusiastic about the by-election, as Mr Tung will likely win unopposed and there is no need for the Election Committee to cast a vote.'

Mr Tong said if elected he would be able to push for a commitment from the next chief executive on the rule of law and human rights.

Mr Chow said his experience as past president and an existing council member of the Law Society, as well as his public duties, placed him in the best position to represent the legal profession.

Mr Tong is backed by University of Hong Kong professor Albert Chen Hung-yee, Bar Association chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit, SC, and legislators Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, SC, and Ms Ng.