No Beijing 'winners' list', spokesman says as candidates for NPC named
Beijing has no list of winners in mind to represent Hong Kong in the national legislature, the election presidium says.
The 19-strong presidium, which will oversee a ballot of 1,620 electors, yesterday announced the names of candidates who will vie this month to become local delegates to the National People's Congress.
Former security minister Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong had most nominators among 52 aspirants for the 36 places, said the presidium, which is chaired by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Presidium spokesman Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen dismissed suggestions that the central government's liaison office already had a winners' list of 36 names ahead of the December 19 poll.
"There are rumours every day… I have not seen any winners' list," Lau said. "The NPC has 1,620 electors from different social strata to choose the local delegation … They must handle the election in an open, fair and just manner."
Lee, who is joining the fray for the first time, topped the list of candidates with 695 nominations from electors. Another new face, China Merchants Group vice-president Li Yinquan, garnered 684 nominations, while Zhang Tiefu, head of the liaison office's social work unit, had 679.
Lau also responded to an accusation last month by Ng Hon-mun, an NPC deputy from 1975 to 2008, that the presidium operated like "a black box" and local delegates had failed to do anything for Hongkongers.
"There is great satisfaction at the delegates' performance in the past five years," Lau said.
The list includes Beijing -loyalists incumbents Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun, and two pan-democrats: Fong King-lok of the Professional Teachers Union and Southern district councillor Paul Zimmerman.