Leung Chun Ying

Lots of noise but little interest from the public

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 December, 2011, 12:00am


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The race has all the hallmarks of a juicy political battle - unprecedented infighting, hotly contested seats, the crowning of a future leader - but it has failed to stir much interest among the public.

Even in Taikoo Shing, where several candidates converged for a last-ditch appeal for votes, the only people showing curiosity were the candidates, their campaign team and the media. The most frequently heard response from passers-by was: 'I don't have a vote. It's a meaningless small-circle election.'

'At this moment, vote-canvassing in the streets is not really useful,' said Dr Law Chi-kwong, of the 32-member 'Demo-Social 60' team for the welfare sub-sector. 'We rely more on phone calls, text messages, and social media apps to appeal to voters.'

They shared the stage with other teams contesting in pan-democrat strongholds, including the information technology, accountancy and legal sub-sectors. But a pedestrian area crowded with candidates, and studded with pan-democratic heavyweights including Civic Party's Alan Leong Kah-kit and Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, struggled to catch attention.

The presence of Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan and lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee - who have both announced their intention to run for the top job - failed to make much difference.

Meanwhile, two candidates that are core supporters of chief executive hopefuls Henry Tang Ying-yen and Leung Chun-ying - were locked in a war of words.

Dr Lew Mon-hung, who backs Leung, accused Chan Wing-kee, a member of standing committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of urging other CPPCC members not to vote for Leung. Lew was returned unopposed in the religious subsector. Leung stood in yesterday's election as part of the CPPCC sub-sector.

Lew said such attempts undermined the rule of law, but Chan denied the accusation.

'Sometimes Lew exaggerates, I have not made such phone calls,' Chan said. 'Candidates in the 1996 chief executive election like Tung Chee-hwa and Peter Woo Kwong-ching were open-handed, and did not contest for seats on the Selection Committee which chose the first chief executive.'

But some pan-democrat candidates for the Election Committee, including those with virtually no chance in winning, have been approached by Leung.

Lam Lap-chi, a Democratic Party candidate for the district council subsector, received an e-mail wishing him success in the election. 'Maybe he sees a risk in securing [150] nominations from the pro-government camp,' said Lam, adding they could not have won in the district sub-sector, a block-voting stronghold for the pro-government camp.

Poll facts

Number of registered voters in contested subsectors: 237,000