Hopefuls in NPC delegate criticise election system as unfair
Some candidates in today's election for local deputies to the National People's Congress have said the poll is unfair and being manipulated by Beijing.
Of the 52 aspirants - mostly Beijing loyalists as well as community and business leaders jockeying for 36 seats - 23 are incumbents, most of whom are expected to be returned.
Rumours were circulating yesterday that about 40 candidates, including four alternates who would fill the seats in case of mid-term vacancies, had been recommended by the central government's liaison office to some of the 1,620 electors.
"As I am not on the 'blessed' list, I will certainly lose," Simon Shi Kai-biu, former president of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Business Association, said.
"I couldn't even get hold of a contact list of the electors so as to liaise with all of them."
He said only those "blessed" by the authorities were likely to win, like Li Yinquan, vice-president of the China Merchants Group, and Herman Hu Shao-ming, chairman of Ryoden Development and of the City University council. Shi declined to name who at the liaison office told him he was not on the list.
Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen, the spokesman for the electorate's presidium, earlier said he had not seen any winners' list.
Fong King-lok, one of the two pan-democrats running, said he would not go into the polling station at the Convention and Exhibition Centre but would protest outside. "The poll lacks representativeness as it is a very small-circle election; electors have to choose by block vote; and most Hongkongers are deprived of taking part … I will definitely lose," he said.
Each voter must pick 36 candidates on the ballot.