CY Leung dismisses claims of Beijing-linked threat cited by Ken Chow who pulled out of Legco elections

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying says Liberal Party candidate Ken Chow Wing-kan’s allegations are “unsubstantiated surmise and innuendo”

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 September, 2016, 7:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 September, 2016, 10:11pm

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has dismissed Liberal Party candidate Ken Chow Wing-kan’s claim that threats from Beijing prompted him to pull out of last Sunday’s Legislative Council elections as “unsubstantiated surmise and innuendo”.

The city’s leader said on Friday evening he knew nothing about the background and reasons behind Chow’s decision to stop campaigning.

“I regret Chow making unsubstantiated surmise and innuendo,” the chief executive said.

Leung was speaking after attending a reception hosted by the cultural and arts sectors to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

He did not respond to questions raised by journalists.

Chow claimed on Wednesday that he was threatened by “three people from Beijing” in the neighbouring city of Shenzhen who demanded he drop out of the Legco race to improve the chances of other pro-establishment candidates.

Regarded as a member of the government-friendly camp, Chow, who was contesting a seat in the New Territories West constituency, claimed the trio produced personal and financial details of his close friends and relatives and suggested they could face “unexpected consequences” if he did not stop his campaign.

He said he was asked to leave Hong Kong and not to return until after Sunday’s election.

Chow admitted he had no recording to prove the meeting with the trio took place.

He said he had been asked to quit the race on three other occasions in Hong Kong since mid-July, with two of those incidents involving two “friends working for mainland organisations in Hong Kong”.

The Liberal Party expressed shock at Chow’s disclosure on Wednesday and vowed to write to state leaders, including National People’s Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference head Yu Zhengsheng.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said on Thursday it was the government’s job to follow up on allegations of electoral corruption even if it took place outside Hong Kong