NPC contenders eye bridging role

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2008, 12:00am

Contenders on opposite sides of the political spectrum say their campaigns in the election of local deputies to the National People's Congress will help act as a bridge between Hong Kong and the mainland.

Among those announcing they were running yesterday were Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and former Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood chairman Frederick Fung Kin-kee. Civic Party member Chong Chan-yau is also reportedly considering running.

Speaking after filing her nomination for re-election, Mrs Fan said she hoped to act as a bridge between the mainland and Hong Kong.

'I would bring the views of Hong Kong people to the mainland and vice-versa, so that there would be more mutual trust. I believe mutual understanding would help build a more solid base for trust and co-operation,' she said.

Mrs Fan led the field with 859 votes five years ago. She would not be drawn on increasing suggestions that she will be elevated to the powerful Standing Committee of the state legislature. She has already announced she will not seek re-election to the Hong Kong legislature.

Mr Fung announced his election bid even though the pan-democrats are widely regarded as having just a slim chance of success. Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun and party colleague Mak Hoi-wah also intend to run.

Mr Fung said he had not liaised with the Democrats on electioneering and platforms. He denied trying to distance himself from the pan-democrats to win favour from Beijing, and said he hoped to express the views of Hong Kong people through an official channel.

He was confident of securing the 10 nominations required to stand, but conceded he would have difficulty winning.

Mr To disagreed that the election was a means for communication.

Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying said yesterday he had no intention of running.

A 1,231-member panel will return 36 Hong Kong deputies for a five-year term on January 25.