Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, former lawmaker from the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency, who was disqualified by the High Court in July along with three other pro-democracy lawmakers, said what interests him now is becoming a district council member rather than seeking to regain his seat in the Legislative Council.
Yiu has given up taking his case to the Court of Appeal in a bid to get his disqualification overturned.
The Electoral Affairs Commission announced last Thursday that a Legislative Council by-election will be held on March 11 next year to fill the four vacant Legco seats, including the vacancies for three geographical constituencies (Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West and New Territories East) and the vacancy for the architectural, surveying, planning and landscape functional constituency.
It also said a by-election for the Peak and Tung Wah constituencies of the Central and Western District Council, where vacancies have arisen, will be held later this year.
In an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal, Yiu said running for the seat in the Hong Kong Island constituency is not in his plans.
While he does not rule out the possibility of seeking the same seat in the functional constituency he won last year, he said he is more interested in joining the by-election for the Tung Wah constituency because doing so is more meaningful to him.
Explaining why, Yiu said he wants to take real action in response to an idea presented by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, an associate professor of law at the University of Hong Kong and one of the three principal organizers of the 2014 Occupy movement.
Earlier this year, Tai brought up “Project Storm”, which calls on people who want to fight for democracy in Hong Kong to come forward and run for seats in the city’s district councils.
According to the plan, by winning more than half of the 431 seats in the district councils in the 2019 election, the pan-democratic camp can gain 117 more seats to have significant power in the 1,200-member Election Committee.
If realized, the camp can be influential in the committee that will be responsible to elect Hong Kong’s leader in the 2022 chief executive poll, reducing Beijing’s ability to influence the result of the election, Tai said.
Yiu hoped that his candidacy in the Tung Wah constituency can help encourage more political laymen in the pro-democracy camp to enter district councils.
Currently a pro bono adviser to lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen’s public policy, Yiu, who had been an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said he has never regretted entering politics, although he said he believes he is not cut out for the role.
Still, he believes he can play a supporting role in the fight for democracy if his political career needs to stop for a while.
– Contact us at [email protected]