Delaying tactics alleged in poll row

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 April, 2012, 12:00am


Dozens of students at the University of Hong Kong besieged the student union office yesterday, saying its leaders were deliberately preventing no-confidence votes that could see them kicked out of office.

One protester, Ting Shing-wing, said the student leaders had gone to great lengths to prevent a poll taking place before the end of term.

'It is really a shame,' the third-year medical engineering student said when asked about the impact of the controversy on the school.

The campaign for a vote against union president Dan Chan Koon-hong, union council chairman Tam Chun-sing and other members began after the union spent HK$387,550 on a series of advertisements in Chinese-language newspapers two weeks before the chief executive election. They urged then-candidate Leung Chun-ying to explain what went on at a dinner attended by rural leaders, members of his campaign staff and a controversial businessman known as 'Shanghai Boy'. The union later retracted the advertisements, with Chan vowing to take all responsibility.

Earlier this month, some students launched a campaign to remove him from office, and they are collecting support for a general poll on several no-confidence votes.

Organiser Joe Yeung, who also attended the protest yesterday, said they were close to getting enough signatures to launch the vote. But he and other protesters accused the leaders, including Tam, of delaying the counting of signatures.

'[Tam] wasted four hours last night by saying he had lost the key to the office,' first-year social science student Henry Yan Ka-chun said. 'But this is the student union office, how can he lose the key?'

Union procedure requires 327 supporters, or 3 per cent of the total student union membership, to start a no-confidence motion.

Yeung said he still aimed to conduct a poll before the academic term ends next Friday.

Yan said those who witnessed the signature collection said at least 400 people had signed but as of yesterday afternoon, they were told only 300 people did. 'Where did 100 votes go?' he asked.