League chairman to run for Legco seat in Kowloon East
League of Social Democrats chairman Wong Yuk-man is eyeing a Legislative Council seat in Kowloon East.
The former radio talk-show host, who said earlier he was pondering whether to stand in Kowloon East or Kowloon West, has now decided he wants to contest in the east.
'My league colleagues say I have a better chance in Kowloon East. Since Taipan [lawmaker Albert Cheng King-hon] has announced he will not run again, I am positive that his supporters will vote for me. From one popular commentator to another popular commentator, why not?' he said, adding that he would invite Mr Cheng to canvass for him.
He said he was also confident of winning over some of the supporters of the Democratic Party's Fred Li Wah-ming. However, he said it would be difficult to lure supporters of another Kowloon East incumbent, Alan Leong Ka-kit, a Civic Party member who ran against Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in the chief executive race last year.
Mr Wong said Kowloon West was 'as chaotic as the warring states', adding that it would be hard for the pan-democratic camp to expand its hold there because of competition from new contenders - the Liberal Party's Michael Tien Puk-sun and independent Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, a City University law academic.
Mr Wong, 56, said that he hoped to have Andrew To Kwan-hang, one of the league's three vice-chairmen, as his running mate. Mr To would be the ideal successor when he stepped down as league chairman in two years, Mr Wong said. 'I hope To will stand for a Kowloon East seat. If he becomes a lawmaker, it will help his role as chairman when the league changes its leadership in 2010. But even if he loses, I hope he will be chairman,' Mr Wong said.
Mr To, 42, a member of Wong Tai Sin District Council, said he preferred to run in Kowloon East instead of 'parachuting' into Kowloon West, an option that has been suggested. But he said he would not mind the latter option if it turned out to be the league's decision. Wong Tai Sin falls within the Kowloon East constituency of Legco.
A joint ticket with Mr Wong would help concentrate the league's scant resources, Mr To said, adding that he did not have a preference as to who would lead the ticket.
But Mr Wong said: 'To is young and he will still have a chance four years later even if he loses this time. But I am old.'
The league will launch its first large-scale gathering for its Legco bid on Friday and is expecting 1,000 people to attend.