Donald Tsang

Pan-democrat bill for poll a third of that from 2007

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 April, 2012, 12:00am


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Pan-democratic representative Albert Ho Chun-yan spent almost HK$1.29 million in his failed attempt at the chief executive election, about a third of the campaign bill chalked up by the defeated pan-democrat candidate in the 2007 race, post-election accounting submissions show.

Ho's donors were also drawn from a narrower base than that of the Civic Party's Alan Leong Kah-kit in the 2007 campaign, the Registration and Electoral Office disclosed.

Ho raised HK$1.29 million for his campaign, much less than Leong's HK$3.8 million and a mere tenth of the HK$13 million limit allowed by law. Leong was the sole challenger to incumbent Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in the 2007 contest.

Ho's funds came from two sources: the Democratic Party, of which he is chairman, contributed HK$1.12 million, while pro-democracy group Power for Democracy gave more than HK$165,000.

In comparison, Leong raised HK$3.8 million for his campaign and added another HK$200,000 out of his own pocket.

The donations came mostly from his party, but also from close political allies and individuals. The biggest individual donor was George Cautherley, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Foundation, who contributed HK$345,810.

Ho's major election costs went into advertising, which ate up more than HK$584,000, followed by rents, transport and office expenses (HK$374,000).

Shortly before the pan-democratic camp held its January 8 primary for all adult Hongkongers to vote, Ho's office sent 68,814 text messages and the Professional Teachers' Union sent 64,295 e-mails to promote his candidacy.

The Democrat received 76 votes out of 1,193 in the March 25 election, meaning the nominal cost of each vote was HK$16,962.42.

That is expected to be slightly above the cost per vote of chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying but less than half of defeated contender Henry Tang Ying-yen's.

The electoral office has yet to release Leung and Tang's campaign expenses.

A spokeswoman for Leung's former campaign office said it spent HK$11.2 million of the more than HK$14 million received.

It is understood that Tang spent less than HK$11 million and has about HK$890,000 left in donations, to be given to charity.

Frederick Fung Kin-kee, who lost to Ho in the pan-democrats' primary, earlier said he had spent about HK$500,000.

New People's Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee spent just more than HK$100,000 on her attempt to join the race, of which HK$96,195 came from her party and the Savantas Policy Institute, a think tank she founded.

In 2007, Tsang raised HK$22.1 million and spent HK$8.4 million, giving the rest to charity.


The number of votes Alan Leong received in the 2007 chief executive election