Date
21 January 2018
Tony Tse (inset, top) is expected to compete for the seat in the functional constituency of the architectural and surveying sector. Pan-democrats are said to have agreed on Paul Zimmerman (inset, down) as their candidate. Pics: Bloomberg/HKEJ
Tony Tse (inset, top) is expected to compete for the seat in the functional constituency of the architectural and surveying sector. Pan-democrats are said to have agreed on Paul Zimmerman (inset, down) as their candidate. Pics: Bloomberg/HKEJ

Bypolls: Pan-dems seek ‘heavyweight’ for functional constituency

With the Legislative Council by-elections drawing near, members of the pro-establishment camp have been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks pitching their candidates to voters, even though they are well aware that the odds are stacked against them this time, particularly in the geographical constituencies of Kowloon West and New Territories East.

For example, Vincent Cheng Wing-shun representing the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), who is going to run in Kowloon West, reached out to his constituents last week and gave out free lunch boxes in Sham Shui Po along with big-time actor Nicholas Tse Ting-fung. 

Meanwhile, Bill Tang Ka-piu, who represents the DAB as well as the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, and Judy Chan Ka-pui, from the New People’s Party, are also campaigning at full throttle in New Territories East and the Hong Kong Island respectively.

However, based on past experience of the results of by-elections, pro-democracy candidates always have an advantage over the pro-establishment camp under the “single-seat, single-vote” system.

Given that, what the pro-establishment camp is truly eying is actually the next Legco by-elections for the remaining seats left behind by the ousted pro-democracy lawmakers, as well as the 2020 Legco contest.

In the meantime, while the pro-establishment Tony Tse Wai-chuen is set to compete for the seat in the functional constituency of the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape sector left behind by Dr. Edward Yiu Chung-yim, the uncertainties over the choice of candidate of the pro-democracy camp are quickly going away.

According to the latest media reports, which cited sources, the various parties in the pan-democratic camp have reached a consensus and agreed on Paul Zimmerman of the non-profit organization Professional Commons as their candidate.

Nevertheless, according to some pan-democrats, they have been working aggressively to persuade another “heavyweight” in the sector to run in order to boost the chance of a victory. However, that person, said to be a highly respected figure, is believed to be not very keen on entering politics.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 5

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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JC/RC

Columnist of Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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