Civic Party lawmaker Audrey Eu Yuet-mee made a surprise about-turn yesterday when she announced she would stand in the New Territories West constituency in September's Legislative Council election.
Eu (pictured), who earlier this year signalled she would withdraw from the political front line, said she would run on the same ticket as former medical sector lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki in the constituency, but declined to say whether she would lead the slate.
'It must be in one ticket. And I would like to tell all the voters that I and the party believe that Dr Kwok would be a good choice,' Eu said.
The arrangement, she said, also took into account the party's long-term development and the need to develop young political talent. The party failed to win any seat in New Territories West in the 2008 election.
Ivan Choy Chi-keung, a political observer at Chinese University, said the move could be a strategy to boost the overall vote, giving the party a better chance of winning at least one seat in the nine-seat constituency. About 11 per cent of the total vote under the proportional representation list system can guarantee a seat.
'It's unlikely that the Civic Party will win two seats in New Territories West. I believe this is a strategy to help Kwok to win the seat,' Choy said.
In the party's preliminary decision in April, Eu - a political heavyweight at the heart of the pan-democratic camp who has been a legislator for 12 years - was not on the list of candidates. She was found to have a 3mm tumour in a brain artery in 2007 and was at risk of a stroke if the mass burst.
Meanwhile, party chairman Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok will pair up with the incumbent lawmaker Tanya Chan to run in Hong Kong Island - where the party holds two seats. However, the party has yet to decide who will lead the ticket.
The party also decided not to field a candidate for the newly-created 'super seats' - which some three million electors will be eligible to vote in the new district council functional constituency.
Veteran legal sector lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee said she would not run for re-election, leaving lawyer Dennis Kwok Wing-hang in the race.
Meanwhile, the newly-established Labour Party also said yesterday it would contest three seats in geographical constituencies.
Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and vice-chairwoman Cyd Ho Sau-lan will seek re-election in New Territories West and Hong Kong Island respectively. Vice-chairman Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung will run in New Territories East.rver