All five democratic camp candidates were defeated in the first round of voting for Hong Kong deputies to the National People's Congress yesterday, amid claims that electors had been put under pressure not to support them. The chairman of the Democratic Party, Martin Lee Chu-ming, said the results did not reflect the views of the people while Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, standing as an independent, claimed that some voters had been prejudiced against them. But some voters blamed the Democrats' lack of success on their inability to communicate with the central government, and a spokesman for the committee in charge of the election described it as 'fair, impartial and open'. It was the first time that Democrats had been able to secure enough nominations to stand as candidates. Their participation, however, was short-lived. A total of 54 contenders were chosen in yesterday's pre-election. The next round of voting will be held on Tuesday during which 36 new local deputies will be elected. Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan (64 votes), James To Kun-sun (81 votes), Sin Chung-kai (74 votes) and Dr Cheung (113 votes) and Frederick Fung Kin-kee (110 votes), chairman of the Association of Democracy and People's Livelihood, were all defeated. Dr Cheung, Mr Fung, Mr To, Mr Sin and Mr Ho ranked at 57th, 58th, 61st, 65th and 67th among the 78 candidates respectively. Incumbent NPC local deputy and election panel member Chan Wing-kee said that the incumbent local deputies - and those who could communicate with the central government - were the preferred candidates. 'I have not voted for the Democrats because they have difficulties in communicating with the central government. We need someone who can do so in order that the views of the public can be conveyed to the central government,' Mr Chan said. The Democratic Party chairman said the election had failed to represent the preference of the public. 'All the Democrats were defeated while they have gained much support in the Legislative Council elections. This shows the NPC election has some problems,' Mr Lee said. Dr Cheung, who won 113 votes and ranked the highest among the Democrats, said he was not surprised the democratic camp candidates were defeated. 'Some members are prejudiced against the Democrats,' he said, adding he would respect the decision of the panel members who exercised their own judgment in the voting. 'However, some people are putting pressure on the voters not to vote for the Democrats. I think it is unfair,' he said. His party colleague Mr To said: 'I didn't have much expectation. I believe the results would be completely different if the candidates were elected by universal suffrage.' Mr Ho said the Democrats had joined the fray to push for the election to be opened up. He said voters had been issued with a list of recommended candidates, and most just marked the ballot papers on their desk rather than in the booths provided. 'This was not a secret ballot election,' he said. Lee Cho-chak, spokesman for the committee in charge of the election, said he received more than 10 such lists of candidates but he did not know the sources. 'I don't believe the Beijing Liaison Office issued a recommended list,' he said. He said his earlier comments, that there was a non-statutory requirement on NPC local deputies to love the nation, were quoted from the constitution. 'I just reminded them of their obligations . . . They have considered the matter seriously on their own,' he said, adding the election was fair, impartial and open. Only 874 members of the 953-strong election panel turned up yesterday - 870 cast their votes and 868 votes were valid. They were free to determine the number of candidates they chose. However, they have to choose 36 candidates for all the seats next Tuesday.