Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, the ousted lawmaker representing the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency, is set to run in the geographical constituency of Kowloon West in the Legislative Council by-elections next March.
In view of this development, both the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps are eager to capture the functional constituency seat left behind by Yiu.
In the Legco election last year, Yiu took 43 percent of the votes for an easy victory, thanks to the intense infighting between pro-establishment candidates Tony Tse Wai-chuen and Professor Bernard Vincent Lim Wan-fung.
However, it is said that the pro-Beijing camp has learned its lesson well and is determined to take back the seat in the upcoming by-elections by fielding only one candidate, namely Tse.
But while the pro-Beijing camp appears to be united this time around, the pan-democrats are still split over their choice of candidate, as several of their members are said to have expressed interest in running for the position.
There is talk that Paul Zimmerman, chairman of the Professional Commons, is aiming for the seat. He has good chances of winning, considering that he won by a landslide in the constituency of Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape during the Election Committee election in December last year.
And then there is Stanley Ng Wing-fai of the Democratic Party. Ng has a strong support base in the constituency. In the 2016 Legco election, however, Ng announced he would not run and gave way to Yiu.
Yet when asked whether he has already made up his mind on whether to run in the by-election, Ng told reporters that he is still discussing the matter with the Democratic Party and coordinating with the Democrat Professionals Hong Kong.
Last but not least, the young Camille Lam Tsz-kwan representing the pro-democracy group CoVision 16 is also said to be thinking of joining the race. However, she said previously that she would root for Zimmerman instead if he decided to run.
With the nomination period for the by-elections scheduled for mid-January next year, the clock is definitely ticking for the pan-democrats, who will have to talk things through among themselves and decide on their final choice of candidate(s) over the next couple of weeks.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec 20
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
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