Three more incumbent legislators announced bids for the 'super seats' in the upcoming Legislative Council elections, consolidating a much-anticipated stand-off between the pro-establishment and pan-democracy camps for the five newly-established seats.
Officially joining the fray yesterday were Lau Kong-wah and Starry Lee Wai-king, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, and Frederick Fung Kin-kee of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood.
The trio makes a field of six candidates for the new district council functional constituency. Albert Ho Chun-yan and James To Kun-sun of the Democratic Party and Chan Yuen-han of the pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Union have already announced runs.
The five directly elected seats were part of the package of the electoral reforms that were endorsed two years ago by Legco, which will enlarge the legislature to 70 seats from the current 60.
The new functional constituency have been dubbed 'super seats' because the city's entire electorate of 3.2 million people could cast ballots for them, meaning the winners could claim a larger mandate than other, locally elected legislators.
With the parties fielding their best-known candidates for the 'super seats', the direct election in the district constituency is expected to see several newcomers.
With Fung, Lee and To vacating their Kowloon West seats, the constituency is certain to see new representatives elected to the legislature in September.
The Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood announced yesterday that Bruce Liu Sung-lee would contest a seat in Kowloon West, in a bid to retain Fung's seat for the party.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, meanwhile, has selected its vice-chairwoman, Ann Chiang Lai-wan, to head its candidate list for the constituency. They would be in the race against Wong Pik-wan of the Democratic Party, who also announced her candidacy yesterday.
The Civic Party's Claudia Mo Man-ching, who lost in the election in 2008, has also declared she will run for a seat in the district.
Meanwhile, two more candidates joined the race in the old profession-based functional constituencies. Huen Wong a former president of the Law Society, will compete against the Civic Party's Dennis Kwok Wing-hang in the legal constituency, a seat previously held by the party's Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee.
As for medical constituency, incumbent Dr Leung Ka-lau who said he was undecided whether to enter the race again, is expected to face former Medical Association president Tse Hung-hing and private doctor Poon Tak-Lun.