Legislative Council elections 2016

Peaceful Hong Kong localists triumph over militants in Legislative Council elections

The big winners among two dozen localist candidates call for ‘democratic self-determination’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 September, 2016, 11:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2016, 9:39am

They may all be identified as localists advocating self-determination for Hong Kong, but those advocating peaceful means have performed better in the Legislative Council elections than those taking a “militant” approach.

Of the two dozen localist candidates, those who call for “democratic self-determination” have emerged as the big winners.

They include “king of votes” Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Occupy Central student leader Nathan Law Kwun-chung and university lecturer Lau Siu-lai. The three, running in different constituencies, bagged a total of 173,122 votes.

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The trio shared a similar vision and would work together to push certain issues in Legco, Lau said.

“I do not agree Hong Kong should become independent because we don’t have enough conditions,” Lau said. “But the issue should be open for discussion.”

The three have said before that Hong Kong people should decide their future through a democratic process, such as a referendum, and independence should be among the options, Chu said.

Ashley Kwan, who works in marketing, voted for Chu because he had a strong track record of leading social movements, while other localists did not.

She said she did not understand the idea of “sustaining the Basic Law” advocated by the alliance formed between Civic Passion, the Proletariat Political Institute and Hong Kong Resurgence Order.

The alliance only managed to send one of its five candidates to Legco, though they gained 154,176 votes in total.

The alliance has come up with the idea of forcing through a de facto referendum by resigning from Legco to let people vote on whether the Basic Law should be changed.

But critics have queried the feasibility as the Basic Law lays down the need for Beijing to be involved in the process.

After his defeat yesterday, Horace Chin Wan-kan of Hong Kong Resurgence Order revealed that his plan for sustaining the Basic Law was actually a disguise for independence.

Ho Wing-shan, a Tsing Yi resident who voted for Chin’s ally, Cheng Chung-tai, the only successful Civic Passion candidate, said she chose him because his platform was more “pragmatic”.

“I also buy their militant strategy. There’s no hope for political reform if we stick with peaceful means,” said Ho, 36, who is a mother.

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Eddie Chu did not impress Ho because the activist did not have a strong view on immigration policy. She said Hong Kong should have control over which mainlanders are allowed to settle in the city.

Winning candidate Cheng said he would seek collaboration with pan-democrats on certain issues such as fighting for control over immigration policy. But he stopped short of saying how he could press for changes to the Basic Law.

Kwan and Ho said they did not like a third localist group, Youngspiration, because they did not have a track record or a strong image .on where it stood.

Even so, two of the three candidates from this group were elected. The trio bagged a total of 68,568 votes.

The candidate with the firmest stance on independence, Chan Chak-to, lost, although he garnered 12,854 votes in Kowloon East.