24 February 2019
Agnes Chow (left) and Au Nok-hin reveal their plans to pursue the fight for democracy in an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal. Photo: HKEJ
Agnes Chow (left) and Au Nok-hin reveal their plans to pursue the fight for democracy in an interview with the Hong Kong Economic Journal. Photo: HKEJ

Legco bet Au Nok-hin aims to boost democrats’ power in chamber

Pan-democratic candidate Au Nok-hin said he is ready to share the resources of his office with other opposition parties if he is elected to the Legislative Council.

Au, who is running in the Legco by-election next month for a seat in the Hong Kong Island geographical constituency, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal in an interview that he wants to strengthen the ranks of the pan-democrats in the chamber so that they can pursue the fight for democracy more effectively.

He said he will accommodate other pan-democrats in his office to help rebuild the power of the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

Democrats in the chamber have seen their power weakened after the Legco meeting rules were changed in favor of the pro-establishment bloc, Au said.

Comparing democrats in the Legco to a football team, Au said he wishes to be a coordinator for the team so as to help it exert the most power in the chamber.

However, he has not discussed whether he will join the Council Front, a new group formed by several pro-democracy lawmakers last year.

Au was only the second choice of the pan-democrats as candidate for the Hong Kong Island seat in the March 11 election.

The first choice, Agnes Chow Ting, a standing committee member of the pro-democracy party Demosistō, was disqualified as a candidate after the returning officer ruled that her political stance, advocating self-determination for Hong Kong, contravenes the Basic Law provisions on China’s sovereignty over the territory.

Au said he is very aware of the fact that he is only running as a substitute for Chow. He stressed that if he wins the Legco seat, he definitely will not seek re-election in 2020 if Demosistō is allowed to field its own candidates by then.

He said he will be happy to return as a member of the District Council.

Au also revealed that he had been trying to keep a low profile until his candidacy was confirmed, such as avoiding being interviewed, in order to avoid saying anything that the returning officer may be able to use to get him disqualified.

Chow, who joined Au in the HKEJ interview, said she does not think that renouncing her British citizenship to be able to run in the by-elections is a kind of sacrifice.

Comparing herself with her comrades who had been jailed for fighting for democracy, Chow said her disqualification from running in the Legco by-election was no sacrifice at all.

She said she did not even feel heartbroken nor did she shed any tears after she was disqualified.

The 21-year-old activist urged the public not to ignore the political red line set by the regime, otherwise more and more people will suffer from political oppression.

While she is planning to seek support from the international community, Chow admitted that it might be difficult for Demosistō to be eligible to run in future elections, but promised that the party will continue to do its best to help support candidates of the pan-democratic camp.

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