Emily Lau turns Democratic Party chairman election into three-way race

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 3:28am

The election for the Democratic Party chairmanship has turned into a three-way race with one of its youngest members joining in and acting chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing a last-minute candidate after repeatedly saying she would not run.

Lau and Southern District Councillor Au Nok-hin, 25, are vying with deputy chairman Sin Chung-kai after nominations were announced yesterday.

Au said he knew he had little chance of winning but wanted to demonstrate the party did not have a "big brother culture".

Lau said she had been persuaded to run yesterday morning to ensure a competitive election.

Sin, who heads a 12-member team including Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong and Lo Kin-hei who are seeking the two vice-chairman posts, said the party faced a critical moment after the resignation of former chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan.

Secretariat spokeswoman Florence Chan Fung-ping said the party had received 46 nominations to contest 30 seats in party elections on Sunday.

Kowloon East lawmaker Wu Chi-wai is a third contender for vice-chairman. Au joined the party in 2009 and was elected a district councillor last year.

"I want to show the public that we don't have big brother culture and hope to have a real debate on pressing issues."

Lau, who became deputy chairman after she quit her group, The Frontier, and joined the Democratic Party in 2008, had said she was determined to retreat from the leadership.

Yesterday she said: "I only learned this morning that an old face would contest the chairman seat and our members encouraged me to join to ensure positive competition."

Sin leads his team with the slogan "breakthrough, reform, democracy". He said: "It [is time] for internal reform and breakthrough. I will have regrets if I do not run for the chairmanship."