Rita Fan retains NPC seat despite reduced support

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 2:20pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 December, 2012, 5:33pm

Political heavyweight Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai suffered a reduced victory in Wednesday’s election of local deputies to the national legislature, when her support dropped by nearly one-fifth compared to the previous election.

Thirty-six Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress were elected from among 52 candidates, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday morning. Among the winners, 17 are newcomers – four more than in the previous poll, in 2008. Among the winners, 13 are newcomers – the same number as in 2008.

There are 1,620 electors, but only 1,488 took part in Wednesday’s vote.

Fan, an incumbent NPC Standing Committee member, retained her seat with 1,155 votes – or 79 per cent of the 1,461 valid votes cast. That was 19.2 percentage points lower than her vote share in 2008, when she won an overwhelming 98.2 per cent of 1,138 valid votes.

Each voter must pick 36 candidates on the ballot.

Asked if she was disappointed by the result, Fan said: “I could only try my best. I did not manage to call all election council members before polling day. I didn’t do well enough.”

She said she would keep speaking from her heart, despite suggestions that her outspokenness might have weakened her support.

Lawmaker Martin Liao Cheung-kong, of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, won the most support with 1,403 votes.