Pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho loses re-election bid for Law Society governing council

Vocal opponent calls defeat of 22-year veteran ‘absolutely adorable’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 May, 2017, 12:59am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 May, 2017, 1:12am

A pro-Beijing legislator in Hong Kong and former president of the city’s Law Society has lost his bid to retain his membership on the body’s governing council.

Junius Ho Kwan-yiu came last out of eight candidates vying for five seats on the council.

Ho, 54, vowed to continue contributing to society “through different positions” while a vocal opponent called the result “absolutely adorable”.

Wearing a red tie and a black suit, the lawmaker arrived at the Law Society’s annual general meeting on Friday evening brimming with confidence.

Asked whether he was optimistic about his chances, Ho pumped his fist in the air and said, “Yea”, without elaborating.

He was among four members seeking re-election for one of five vacancies on the Law Society’s 20-seat council. The society is a professional association of solicitors in Hong Kong.

The other three – Stephen Hung Wan-shun, Denis Brock, and Billy Ma Wah-yan – all retained their council memberships.

I will continue serving the council through different positions!
Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, defeated Law Society candidate

They were joined by newcomers Jonathan Ross and Robert Rhoda, who garnered the most total votes – 1,514. Ho only received 572 votes.

Successful candidates serve a four-year term.

After his defeat, Ho could not be reached for comment, although he did not appear deflated.

“I’m very honoured to have served the Law Society for 22 years, and today I have passed the torch,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Even so I will continue serving the council through different positions!”

Kevin Yam Kin-fung, convenor of the Progressive Lawyers Group, called the result “absolutely adorable”.

Just a day before the election, the pro-democracy solicitor was sued by Ho for defamation over a damning article published earlier this month.

While Yam would not comment on the pending lawsuit, he said he was still overwhelmed by the outcome.

Leave public out of Law Society’s internal fight

“I also need to point out this is not the time to have any sense of schadenfreude, because whatever one might be thinking, the fact of the matter is that Ho has devoted more than 20 years of his life to serving the Law Society,” Yam said.

“He deserves our respect for his service.”

Yam also congratulated the winning candidates, all of whom had received his group’s backing, including some who held pro-Beijing positions.

“I urge my counterparts to look at what’s best for the legal profession and put aside their political views when deciding society’s future,” he said.