FTU 'super seat' contender issues emergency call, claiming trickery

Furious Chan Yuen-han says rivals told voters she had already secured enough support

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 September, 2012, 4:20am

A Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) candidate yesterday accused the biggest pro-Beijing faction of resorting to trickery to get votes on election day, highlighting pro-establishment camp infighting in the battle for the five "super seats".

Chan Yuen-han condemned the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and at least one pan-democrat group for allegedly telling voters outside polling stations that "Chan had already won", so they should vote for other candidates instead.

This was while polls had shown Chan as the front runner, well ahead of the DAB's Lau Kong-wah and the slate of Starry Lee Wai-king.

Chan said the DAB and pan-democrats were "misleading" her supporters, and at around 2pm yesterday she made her first-ever emergency plea for votes since the 1991 election.

"It is despicable - cheating voters … I'm totally disappointed [with the DAB and pan-democrats]. The election should have been fair," said the former unionist lawmaker.

The "super seats" were being decided by some 3.2 million people who cannot vote in traditional functional constituencies.

Asked if she feared that her call could harm the pro-establishment camp's chances of winning three seats, Chan said: "The other [pro-government] candidates should win the heart of the public with their capability and track record instead."

In response to the accusations, Starry Lee said she did not say anything to harm Chan's prospects of winning.

"I do not rule out that some campaign members are too nervous and have a different interpretation [towards the possibility of each candidate winning]. Misunderstandings may arise because of that," Lee said while campaigning in Wong Tai Sin.

Lau, on the other hand, insisted he was in a critical situation with polls showing he was ranked sixth out of seven lists.

Meanwhile, in a twist of strategy, the pan-democrats no longer made emergency pleas for their three individual tickets, expressing hope that the votes would be evenly divided so they could grab three of the five seats in the new district council functional constituency.

Democratic Party candidate James To Kun-sun said he believed Chan's fear could have been prompted by Beijing's order to some pro-establishment supporters to shepherd votes for Lee and Lau, to save them.

To and other pan-democrats, including his party mate Albert Ho Chun-yan and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood candidate Frederick Fung Kin-kee, did not make emergency calls yesterday.

In the Hong Kong Island constituency, with 14 lists vying for seven seats, People Power's Christopher Lau Gar-hung said: "We will not make emergency calls or split votes because our supporters are firm."

In Kowloon East, four parties from the pan-democratic camp, facing the DAB and the FTU, all said they had a very close fight for the same voting base.

They labelled independent Paul Tse Wai-chun as "godson" of Beijing's liaison office, which Tse denied. A war of words also broke out between Democrat Wu Chi-wai and People Power's Wong Yeung-tat, who criticised each other for splitting the pan-democratic camp.

New Territories West looked to be a chaotic battle, with 16 slates scrambling for nine seats.

The Civic Party's Audrey Eu Yuet-mee and Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of New Territories East, both expressed worries about their re-election chances.