Civic Party defends election strategy despite two big losses

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2012, 4:15pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

The Civic Party on Tuesday continued to defend its election strategy that ended with two of its star members losing their seats.

Leader Alan Leong Kah-kit was asked by a radio interviewer whether fielding Audrey Eu Yuet-mee behind former medical-sector lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki in New Territories West was only a tactic to ensure that Kwok would win – suggesting Eu lacked the determination to win a second seat.

Leong rebutted the question “with a solemn clarification”.

“When I was trying to persuade Audrey to run, she believed that she had the chance to win a second seat, and she did her best as well – canvassing for support in the street five times a day … she reduced that to four times only after her volunteers said it was too much for them. So voters in New Territories West can be witnesses to her efforts.”

Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), who was re-elected in New Territories West, doubted Leong’s response.

“I agree that Eu was trying to ensure Kwok won because [otherwise] Kwok might have done no better than Fernando Cheung,” he said on the same programme, referring to the former welfare-sector legislator and Civic Party member who lost in 2008.

“During the election forums, many candidates were trying to attack Kwok, and Eu often protected him,” Tam said.

“I think Eu became more and more ambitious in the run-up, and inevitably this took away some of the Democratic Party’s votes.”

The Kwok-Eu partnership secured 72,185 votes on Sunday, above the 55,401 required for Kwok to win but short of the 90,000 that would have ensured a seat for Eu.

The Civic Party earlier rejected criticism that a last-minute call for more votes might have contributed to Democratic Party veteran Lee Wing-tat losing in New Territories West by a margin of 985.

Critics said that as it was impossible for Kwok and Eu to gain 90,000 votes, the Civic Party should have refrained from issuing the emergency call for support.

The other star Civic Party member who lost was Tanya Chan, who ran in Hong Kong Island on a slate led by Kenneth Chan Ka-lok.