The Who's Who of Legco: Meet 6 New Radical Lawmakers
With most of the election results in, the 2016 Legislative Council Election have left us looking at a lot of new faces. But do you know who they are?
Nathan Law Kwun-chung—42,822 votes (Hong Kong Island)
Political affiliation: Demosistō
The youngest candidate ever to be voted into Hong Kong's Legislative Council, Nathan Law started off as the Secretary General of the Hong Kong Federation of Students. He made his name as one of the student leaders of the Umbrella Movement in 2014, and was banned from entering China after his Home Return Permit was revoked. In April 2016, Law and other student leaders formed the political party Demosistō. Fun fact: Before he became involved in social movements, Law was a commentator at the 2012 Hong Kong Esports Tournament.
Lau Siu-lai—38,183 votes (Kowloon West)
Political affiliation: Democracy Groundwork
The 40-year-old is a sociology lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. In 2014, she formed the “Age of Resistance” group with former students, hoping to raise awareness of the government’s money-draining white elephant projects. During the Umbrella Movement she visited protest sites to promote ideas and discussions about democracy—thus “Democracy Groundwork” was born. Earlier this year, she was fined $1,800 after she was caught selling fried squid in Sham Shui Po without a license in a show of support for hawkers. She has been elected to the Legislative Council with more than 38,000 votes—the most votes of any pro-democracy candidate in the Kowloon West constituency.
Yau Wai-ching—20,643 votes (Kowloon West)
Political affiliation: Youngspiration
Youngspiration community officer Yau Wai-ching formed the party with fellow localist protesters after the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests. The pro-independence advocate graduated from Lingnan University with a major in Chinese. Protests against national education in 2012 aroused her interest in social issues, and last November the 25-year-old quit her clerical assistant job to run in the District Council elections, losing by only 304 votes to pro-establishment heavyweight Priscilla Leung Mei-fun of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong in what was dubbed a “David vs. Goliath” battle. This year in a similar tussle, Yau grabbed the sixth and final Legco seat for the Kowloon West constituency, defeating Legco veteran Raymond Wong Yuk-man by just 400 votes.
Sixtus "Baggio" Leung Chung-hang—35,969 votes (New Territories East)
Political affiliation: Youngspiration
Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang started getting involved in politics and activism as the president of City University's students’ union in 2007. He co-established Youngspiration in 2015 following the Umbrella Movement protests. He was regarded as a “plan B” option after Hong Kong Indigenous’s Edward Leung Tin-kei was disqualified from running in the election due to his pro-independence stance. Edward Leung endorsed Baggio Leung, and the two say they will share Legco tasks between them.
Eddie Chu Hoi-dick—70,821 votes (New Territories West)
Political affiliation: N/A
Founder of the Land Justice League, social activist Eddie Chu has built up a name for himself thanks to his involvement in cultural and environmental conservation—and the occasional bit of radical activism. After rising to fame in 2006 when he protested against the demolition of the Edinburgh Place Star Ferry Pier in Admiralty, he went on to drive other social movements, including the protection of Tsoi Yuen Tsuen village from demolition in 2009, and a protest against the construction of the cross-border Express Rail Link. He made the headlines in March for “stealing” dirt as he collected evidence of potential illegal waste dumping at Kingswood Villas in Tin Shui Wai.
Cheng Chung-tai—54,496 votes (New Territories West)
Political affiliation: Civic Passion
Cheng Chung-tai is the only member of radical localist political group Civic Passion to have scored a seat in this year’s election, claiming the fourth of the nine seats in the New Territories West constituency. A teaching fellow at the Department of Applied Social Science at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Cheng will also become the leader of the activist group. While he has participated in protests against the government, he and Civic Passion have also been attacking pan-democratic parties, and ran against the Democratic Party’s Albert Ho in last year’s District Council elections.