Yau Tsim Mong election loser asks High Court to unseat rival

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 March, 2013, 4:07am

A district council election candidate who lost by just two votes has asked the High Court to unseat his rival for breaking campaign rules.

In a judicial review yesterday, Lam Kin-man, of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, asked for Edward Leung Wai-kuen to be disqualified for failing to file the written consent - a legal requirement - from 52 supporters before publishing their names in a campaign advertisement.

Lam's request came after the Court of First Instance in January ruled not to exempt Leung from punishment for breaching the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance.

Leung, a social worker with no political affiliation, had in the 2011 Yau Tsim Mong district council election won 1,045 votes in the King's Park constituency, beating Lam's 1,043.

Barrister Clifford Smith SC, for Leung, yesterday stressed his client had had his supporters' oral consent although he did not get their written endorsements.

"It can't be said that [Leung] was unduly elected. It can't be said that it would have made a difference," Smith said.

But Barrister Hector Pun Hei, for Lam, said the court should unseat Leung if there was a chance voters might have been affected by the advertisement.

"[Lam] lost by two votes only. Electors might have been affected to think that [Leung] was such a kind person to have … support from so many people in such a short period of time," Pun said.

Mr Justice Johnson Lam Man-hon will today hand down his written judgment on whether to unseat Leung.