Date
17 November 2017
Yau Wai-ching (above) is considering whether to run in the by-election. If she pushes through, that would affect the chances of Dr. Lau Siu-lai (inset). Photo: HKEJ
Yau Wai-ching (above) is considering whether to run in the by-election. If she pushes through, that would affect the chances of Dr. Lau Siu-lai (inset). Photo: HKEJ

Infighting could ruin pan-democrats’ chances in by-election

Last Friday, the Legislative Council Commission officially filed a lawsuit in the District Court to compel the two ousted Youngspiration lawmakers, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, to pay back a total of HK$1.85 million in salaries and allowances.

However, despite the fact that Youngspiration has been thrown into complete disarray ever since the duo were disqualified by the court last November, there is talk that the group is pulling itself together and eyeing the upcoming Legco by-election scheduled for March 2018.

Earlier, Leung and Yau expressed in public that they had no intention to run in the upcoming Legco by-election in the geographical constituencies of New Territories and Kowloon West. However, it is said that Yau has recently changed her mind. She is said to be still considering whether to run in the by-election.

Some in political circles said if that is really true, it would inevitably undermine the odds of winning for Dr. Lau Siu-lai, another former lawmaker who was also ousted by the court for failing to take her oath of office properly, and who was supposed to be the only candidate representing the pro-democracy camp in the Kowloon West geographical constituency according to the initial plan.

Kowloon West was a pro-establishment stronghold in the 2016 Legco election. In the last election, Dr. Chiang Lai-wan, representing the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, swept to a landslide victory by taking 52,541 votes, which were more than the votes of former lawmaker Wong Yuk-man (20,219) and Yau Wai-ching (20,643) combined.

As such, they said unless the various factions in the pro-democracy camp can stay united and agree on a coordination mechanism, they would be fighting an uphill battle trying to reclaim lost territory in Kowloon West.

Likewise, the pan-democrats have also failed to agree on a single candidate to run in the by-election for New Territories East. So far, former Democratic Party lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, former lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai, representing the Neo-Democrats, as well as former student leader Tommy Cheung Sau-yin who has been endorsed by the localist faction and student groups have all expressed interest in running.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 14

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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JC/RA

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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