Election Notebook: Exiting Hong Kong legislators back new generation of party hopefuls
In the countdown to the Legco elections on September 4, follow our daily round-up of the best news and buzz on the campaign trail
With a host of veteran legislators from both sides of the political divide stepping down, many new faces are jostling for seats in the September 4 Legislative Council election.
Despite not seeking re-election, four Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong veterans, including Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, Chan Kam-lam, Tam Yiu-chung and Ip Kwok-him threw their support behind younger candidates from the pro-establishment party.
In the party’s latest campaign video, all four can be seen playing a game of mahjong while giving praise to the young DAB candidates.
“If we don’t step down, how can we have time to play mahjong,” Tam said. “I have every confidence in our [party’s] next generation.”
But it was not all fun and games for the four veterans, as they also slammed filibustering and “unruly behaviour” in the legislature.
“Those who are filibustering don’t need to bear the cost,” Ip lamented.
Meanwhile, the man behind the anti-occupy campaign, Robert Chow Yung took out front page adverts in two local newspapers calling on the 1.8 million people who signed his petition against the civil disobedience movement to vote on Sunday.
Prominently featuring a picture of Chow with his hands clasped, the adverts urged his supporters to “put Hong Kong back on the right track”.
Chief Executive demands explanation from Ken Chow Wing-kan after sudden exit
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has called on the Liberal Party’s Ken Chow Wing-kan to explain his surprise announcement to drop out of the Legislative Council election.
During a live televised forum last Thursday, Chow made the tearful announcement that he would stop campaigning for a seat in the New Territories West constituency for fear of landing those close to him in “high-level troubles”.
Asked whether the incident would affect public confidence in the fairness of the election, Leung said on Tuesday morning that the city’s corruption watchdog would investigate the case.
“But the mystery can only be solved by the person concerned,” Leung said, without naming Chow. “The one who raised the subject should explain it clearly.”
The Liberal Party’s chairman Felix Chung Kwok-pan welcomed Leung’s comment.
“Chow needs to explain to the Liberal Party and to society why he made the decision, because until now, we still don’t know what happened,” he said.
Civil service unions under fire for steering members’ votes
Former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang slammed a number of civil service unions for calling on members to vote on election day.
In a joint statement issued Monday, which also condemned filibustering, three major civil service unions urged their members to vote for candidates who are “practical” and “able to improve Hong Kong’s plight”.
Earlier, several disciplinary service unions also issued similar statements to their members.
Speaking after her speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Chan said these public statements could hamper the political neutrality of civil servants.
“I think the Secretary for the Civil Service should clarify whether such actions have severely affected civil servants’ political neutrality,” she said.
During her speech, Chan said it will be vital for the pro-democracy camp to maintain its veto powers in the legislature.
The former chief secretary also called on the Chief Executive to mend relations and build trust with legislators following the election.
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