Veteran unionist urged to stand for new seat
A heavyweight from the Beijing-friendly Federation of Trade Unions is being lobbied by colleagues to stand for one of the new functional constituency seats that will be returned through the votes of 3.2 million electors in the 2012 elections.
A person familiar with the federation's plan for the Legislative Council elections said federation vice-president Chan Yuen-han was seen as their best candidate to grab one of the five seats added to the district councils functional constituency. The source said Chan had not made up her mind.
Chan was once the most popular politician in the government-friendly camp. Her 13-year spell as a directly elected lawmaker came to an end in 2008 when she was defeated in Kowloon East after her union ticket mustered only enough votes for chairman Wong Kwok-kin to be elected.
Candidates for the new seats will be nominated by elected district councillors.
'Candidates with territory-wide popularity will enjoy an advantage in battling for the new seats. Chan is one of the few people in our federation who stands a good chance,' the source said. Chan could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The 340,000-strong federation, Hong Kong's biggest labour union group, has four lawmakers.
Chan is also vice-chairwoman of the federation's political affairs committee, which takes charge of electoral affairs and grooms political talent for future elections.
Pan Pey-chyou, the federation lawmaker representing the labour functional constituency, plans to stand in the geographic constituency in Hong Kong Island in the 2012 election.
Fellow federation legislator representing the labour sector, Ip Wai-ming, plans to run in New Territories East in 2012.