Pan-democrats rally to nominate like-minded and popular candidate for upcoming Hong Kong chief executive election

Power for Democracy leads coalition seeking 150 Election Committee members’ support

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 9:02pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2017, 11:04pm

A pro-democracy coalition is seeking to rally dozens of pan-democratic members on the Election Committee to nominate a chief executive candidate that is both like-minded and popular with the public.

Power for Democracy announced on Sunday it had launched the campaign to convince at least 150 of the 326 pan-democratic members on the Election Committee to only endorse a “civil candidate” that pledges to restart political reforms and safeguard the city’s core values if elected.

All eyes on opinion polls as Hong Kong chief executive election heats up

Pan-democratic committee members that agree to the campaign will meet on February 25 to discuss who to nominate, taking into consideration the results of a mock public vote organised by Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting.

Any candidate that secures 37,790 nominations from the general public (one per cent of the city’s registered voters) in Tai’s electronic voting platform – to run February 7 to 22 – would be considered a “civil candidate” eligible for a later “civil referendum”.

Hong Kong public to be polled on next chief executive

At the February 25 meeting, participating members will meet the four chief executive candidates and then discuss strategy.

Our campaign is not to force participating committee members to nominate or vote in bloc.
Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek

Power for Democracy convenor Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek said of the 160 pan-democrat Election Committee members already approached, roughly half had agreed to support the party’s campaign.

One supporter, University of Hong Kong legal scholar and Election Committee member, Eric Cheung Tat-ming said: “Our campaign is not to force participating committee members to nominate or vote in bloc.

“But we hope to encourage the public to speak up, and to show the public that their views do have impact, despite it being a small circle election. We wish to see competition in the election.”

The nomination period for the March chief executive election will start on February 14. Aspirants must first secure at least 150 nominations from the Election Committee before becoming formal candidates. Only the 1,194 members on the committee can vote in the March 26 election.

Cheung stressed that participating committee members would not necessarily vote for the candidate in the election, despite having agreed to nominate them.

Hong Kong chief executive candidates must all be given a fair chance

Pan-democratic Election Committee member, Dr Ting Wai-fong of Polytechnic University, said: “If the people feel they can get involved, they will care much more about the chief executive election and the candidates must not only listen to the some 1,200 members on the Election Committee, but also take into account public opinions.”

The four chief executive hopefuls include retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, former financial secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, and former chief secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.