Ants take tough stand on candidates

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 September, 1994, 12:00am

IN stark contrast to the thousands of campaign staff seeking votes from the public, a pressure group tried to dissuade voters from backing three candidates.

The United Ants said the trio - independent Peggy Lam Pei Yu-dja, Liberal Party legislator Steven Poon Kwok-lim and Meeting Point legislator Zachary Wong Wai-yin - did not deserve support because they were against direct elections.

The three either abstained, opposed or were absent from the vote on legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing's bill on June 29 to introduce 60 directly elected seats to the Legislative Council.

About 10 members of the group held banners outside the polling stations of the three candidates, calling on voters not to support them.

They also distributed leaflets, which detailed their 'crime', and shouted at electors to use their ballot to boycott the trio.

'The three were responsible for stripping the public's right to elect all Legco members next year. They now brazenly beg our votes. It is simply ridiculous,' the leaflets said.

To counteract the United Ants, Mrs Lam's campaign team prepared leaflets to explain her position. They said Mrs Lam had actually helped the cause by being absent for the vote instead of voting against the bill.

Mrs Lam's canvassing agent, Leung Sin-yee, also prepared an election board which said 'How could you?' and stood next to the Ants' banner which said 'Don't vote for Mrs Lam'.

Mrs Lam said the Ants' tactic was disgusting and unfair.

'It is undemocratic for them to do so. Democracy is about choosing the right candidate to support and not about discouraging people to vote for any particular candidate.' She said that if the Ants really disliked her they should find someone to run against her.

She believed her supporters would not listen to the claims.

Her election agent, Chiu Wai-shing, said a complaint had been filed with the Registration and Electoral Office about the Ants' move.

United Ants member Ko Ping-ching said the campaign was not meant to support the trio's rivals.

Responding to claims that the group was undemocratic, he said the objective of an election was two-pronged: to elect the best and to get rid of the useless.