Sin Chung-kai sets his sights on Island seat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 2008, 12:00am

Democratic Party vice-chairman Sin Chung-kai is seeking his party's support to lead a ticket for the Legislative Council seat in the Hong Kong Island constituency left vacant by Martin Lee Chu-ming.

The party's executive committee decided at a meeting last night to re-open applications for members to run in the Hong Kong Island constituency in September's election, after a recommended candidate list was passed at a members' general meeting on Sunday, leaving a vacancy in the constituency.

Mr Sin, currently the information-technology sector lawmaker, said he would seek his party's endorsement to run.

He had been tipped to stand for a Kowloon West seat, but it is believed he will change his plans following Mr Lee's decision not to seek re-election.

Although there have been suggestions that he could join a ticket led by independent Anson Chan Fang On-sang, he said he did not want to be the second candidate on the ticket after a non-Democratic Party member.

'Mrs Chan has not said she wanted to run jointly with the Democratic Party. All speculation at this stage is one-sided wishes,' Mr Sin said.

Some members have opposed the idea of the vice-chairman running second to Mrs Chan on the ticket, according to party sources.

They said it would be unconvincing for second-tier members if the party gave up the primary position to an outsider. They pointed out that the party's Central and Western district councillor, Kam Nai-wai, would see his chances of winning reduced when the vice-chairman 'parachuted' to Hong Kong Island, as the vote would then be split.

Another consideration was whether a ticket with former chief secretary Mrs Chan and a party heavyweight would maximise pan-democrats' votes, the sources added.

Mr Sin declined to comment on the idea of Mrs Chan following him on the ticket.

Speaking after the executive committee's meeting, Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said they had not yet discussed the idea of a joint ticket with Mrs Chan. Mr Ho declined to comment on the possibility of such a pairing.

Mr Kam, who has secured the party's endorsement to lead one of the tickets in the constituency, said he would launch his own district work regardless of how the tickets were arranged.