Hong Kong politicians yesterday expressed shock at the assassination attempt on Chen Shui-bian, and said they believed it would boost his re-election bid. Paul Yip Kwok-wah, former special adviser to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa with special responsibility for Taiwan affairs, said the incident would benefit Mr Chen. But he said it was difficult to tell whether Mr Chen's re-election would lead to Beijing clamping down on Hong Kong's democratic development. 'There are two schools of thought. One might say Beijing would tighten control. Alternatively, Beijing might become more lenient to convince Taiwan [of reunification] under the [principle of] 'one country, two systems',' he said. He condemned the use of violence, saying the Taiwanese public would not be able to make a rational choice in the election because of the incident. He did not believe, however, that Taiwan-Hong Kong relations would be affected by the outcome of the vote. Election expert Li Pang-kwong of Lingnan University said voters would tend towards voting for the Democratic Progressive Party. 'The nature of the incident is still unclear but voters will tend to see Mr Chen as the victim. They don't have much time to think about the incident and would vote for the victim as a knee-jerk reaction,' Professor Li said. Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood legislator Frederick Fung Kin-kee, who is in Taipei, said it was difficult to say who would win. 'When I visited the campaign headquarters of the Kuomintang this afternoon, everyone had a heavy heart,' he said. Democrat James To Kun-sun also believed the incident would benefit Mr Chen.