Radical lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung has announced his decision to run for chief executive in next month’s election, vowing to continue the spirit of the 2014 democracy movement.
Leung, 60, said he decided to throw his hat into the ring because he does not believe any of his four rivals — John Tsang, Carrie Lam, Regina Ip and Woo Kwok-hing — represents the pro-democracy camp, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The announcement from the League of Social Democrats stalwart sent shock waves through the political circles, especially among the pan-democratic camp who worry that Leung’s entry will upset their plans.
But Leung said he will only make his participation official on one condition — if he wins at least 1 percent of the vote from all eligible voters, or 37,000 nominations, in an ongoing online civil referendum.
As of 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Tsang was leading the referendum with more than 5,400 nominations, followed by Leung with 2,400 and Woo with 1,500.
Leung said he might not get the 37,000 nominations by the time the exercise ends next Wednesday given the complicated registration procedure.
Democratic Party legislator James To said he was shocked by Leung’s decision to run and urged him to stand back.
He said Leung could create a scenario in which Carrie Lam, whom To derides as a clone of Leung Chun-ying, could win the election.
Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok said Leung’s candidacy will not affect his group’s strategy of integrating pro-democracy members on the Election Committee.
Meanwhile, Starry Lee, who chairs the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said none of the Election Committee members from the party will support or meet with Leung Kwok-hung, calling him a troublemaker in the Legislative Council.
A candidate needs at least 150 votes from the Election Committee to garner nomination. The two-week nomination process starts on Feb. 14, with the chief executive election set for March 26.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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