'One list' call at odds with Democrats

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2012, 12:00am


Compromise talks among the pan-democratic camp on tactics for contesting the five 'super seats' in September's Legislative Council election are likely to prove futile, a veteran lawmaker says.

Leung Yiu-chung, a Neighbourhood and Workers' Service Centre lawmaker since 1998, says the only viable solution is for the camp to put forward one single list as it attempts to win three of the five seats available in a city-wide ballot.

But it is unlikely that the remaining members of the camp will agree, with the Democratic Party planning to put forward two lists and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood also hoping to put forward a slate.

The pan-democrats are due to hold another strategy meeting today, after talks last Wednesday agreed to target three seats and to set up a screening mechanism to pick the candidates.

The Democrats want to field high-profile lawmaker James To Kun-sun and Kwai Tsing district councillor Andrew Wan Siu-kin. The ADPL's Frederick Fung Kin-kee has also signalled an interest in running and wants the camp to run three separate lists, while the Civic Party is considering fielding a candidate.

To and Fung are expected to be the camp's top two candidates if a deal can be agreed.

But Leung said his party would not join any screening mechanism 'unless they draw lots to pick the third candidate'. Leung wants to field his protege Wong Yun-tat for the 'super seat'.

'The so-called consensus [between the pan-democrats] means we would [have to] discuss the plan with our members,' Leung said.

He also cast doubt on the idea of running more than one list from the pan-democratic side. Under the proportional representation system used in the city, running more than one list from a particular camp can arguably increase the chances of securing a seat.

'The candidates should all stay in one team for a better chance of winning. It is risky to allocate votes among three candidate teams,' he added.

The Democratic Party's plan to run two lists of it own was a major obstacle to an agreement, Leung said.

'This bars other pan-democratic parties from joining the new functional election and is against the spirit of unity which we want to reach after the electoral reform conflict,' said Leung, referring to the rift between the Democrats and others in the pan-democratic camp after the former's controversial decision to support the government's electoral package in 2010, after its proposal to create the five 'super seats' was accepted.

Leung said the rift was likely to be widened if no deal was reached.

'That is also why all candidates should run under one team, to show our unity,' he said.

The Democrats said last week they had 'strong reservations' about the idea of a single list.

The 'super seats' will represent the district councils on Legco, but will be elected by voters who do not have a vote in any other functional constituency.

Each list will have to be nominated by 15 elected - rather than appointed - district councillors. With three million people expected to vote, each winning candidate is likely to have to win more than 300,000 votes.