‘I’ll be back’, vows veteran Hong Kong district councillor after shock loss to Occupy-inspired candidate
Pro-Beijing Christopher Chung plans to run again, and about 50 supporters of pan-democrat Chui Chi-kin pop champagne outside rival’s office
A newly-defeated pro-Beijing veteran district councillor has told his critics that he will “be back” and seek to regain his seat in the Eastern District Council in 2019.
Christopher Chung Shu-kan, from the Beijing-loyalist Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, was defeated by the relatively unknown independent pan-democrat Chui Chi-kin in Yue Wan constituency on Sunday, where he served for 24 years since 1991. Chui was regarded as an ‘Umbrella soldier’ – a candidate inspired by the 79-day Occupy protests last year.
The outspoken pro-Beijing veteran’s defeat shocked his party colleagues, but about 100 supporters of his rival threw a party outside Chung’s district office in Yue Wan Estate in Chai Wan last night to rub salt into his wound. They sang festive songs and opened a bottle of champagne.
READ MORE: Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing veteran Christopher Chung Shu-kun blames election defeat on first-time voters
When asked about the party on a DBC radio programme this morning, Chung said: “I thank them for the ‘encouragement’. I will stand up from where I fell and I’ll be back … I will continue to serve my constituents because I represent Hong Kong Island in the Legislative Council.”
But political commentators raised questions after Chung’s defeat, suggesting the pro-Beijing camp could ask him to give up his seat in the Legco poll next September and let someone else have a go.
Chung admitted he feel pressured to keep his seat: “My party’s chairwoman (Starry Lee Wai-king) was right: those who lost have to improve their work … I will seek [the party’s] endorsement of my bid for re-election, so I will improve, get prepared and show that I am more popular than other potential candidates.”
Chung also reiterated that his defeat was partly because young voters had come out to cast “political votes”, rather than “performance votes” based on what he did in the last two decades. Chui only decided to run at the end of the nomination period last month.
However, he appeared to have little idea yet on how to win over young voters.
“We will work on them … But I will try to secure my votes first because people’s work is long term, and its not just something you can do, it’s related to their development and school education.”
READ MORE: Record turnout for Hong Kong’s district council elections; two pan-democratic big guns out, three new pro-Occupy candidates win
While Chung’s DAB colleagues had been relatively defensive the councillor’s defeat, some of his pro-establishment allies appeared more critical.
Speaking separately on DBC, independent pro-establishment lawmaker Paul Tse Wai-chung launched a veiled attack on Chung, and said some district councillors’ public image could have cost them their seats.
“If many things you did just made you out to be a laughingstock, moderate voters might have negative feelings about you,” the newly-elected Wan Chai district councillor said.
Before Sunday’s election, Chung was ridiculed after his election pamphlets misspelled his name “Chirs”, an error for which he blamed the printing firm.