Six from anti-CY Leung group barred from running for Hong Kong’s Election Committee

Election body hopefuls fail to show ‘substantial connection’ with engineering subsector

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 10:57pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 November, 2016, 10:59pm

Six members of a group ­opposed to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying securing a second term have been barred from running for the Election Committee, which will pick the city’s next leader.

The decision came as the ­government announced plans to set the nomination period for the chief executive election from February 14 to March 1 next year.

A poll will be held on December 11 to decide the 1,200-member committee that will elect a chief executive on March 26.

Progressive Engineering, headed by Albert Lai Kwok-tak of the pan-democratic Professional Commons, fielded 26 people to run for seats in the committee’s engineering subsector. Their campaign focuses on blocking Leung for another term.

Election Committee support for CY Leung looks bleak

When nominations closed on Monday, six were ruled “not ­eligible to be nominated as a ­candidate” because they were mainly construction workers who failed to have a vote and “a substantial ­connection with the engineering subsector”.

According to the Chief Executive Election Ordinance, one must have “a substantial ­connection” with the subsector concerned.

Progressive Engineering spokesman Lee Chi-ming said: “The rule is too vague and allows the returning officer too much power to disqualify a candidate.

“How substantial is substantial? This is very subjective. It ­inevitably leads people to think political consideration has been involved.”

Chan Pat-kan, who is one of the six and heads the Construction Site Workers General Union. Chan said: “We work closely with engineers at sites. Without us frontier workers, engineers’ plans can never be materialised. It is laughable to say we are not closely connected with the sector.”

Meanwhile, pro-independence activist Chan Chak-to has been initially accepted to run in the information technology ­subsector. Computer engineer Chan has joined the pan-democrats’ 30-member group IT Vision to challenge for seats.