The Legislative Council by-elections were held less than three weeks ago, but the pan-democrats are already eyeing the next round of by-elections to fill the vacant Legco seats in Kowloon West and New Territories East.
This time around, most of the pan-dems have reportedly decided to skip the primaries and directly nominate Lau Siu-lai and “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung as their candidates for the two respective seats.
This means Lau and Leung would have to withdraw their applications for judicial review of their disqualification in order to clear the way for the by-elections. However, both Leung and Lau are said to be unwilling to do that.
Sources said unless at least one of them has a change of mind, the by-elections wouldn’t be feasible even when the next Legco election scheduled for 2020 takes place.
Leung has already made it crystal clear that he is determined to bring his lawsuit to the Court of Final Appeal in order to make his case a legal precedent, and Lau is also standing firm on her decision despite intense arm-twisting.
Sources said that even though Lau, unlike Leung, is still waiting for her legal aid application to get approved by the government, she remains very determined to press ahead with her legal challenge.
And so it appears the pan-dems’ plan to secure the next by-elections by the end of the summer holiday isn’t going to fly unless Lau changes her mind, which is quite unlikely, at least for the time being.
Considering the disappointing performance of the pan-dems in the recent by-elections, Lau is said to be deeply concerned about whether the entire opposition camp would be able to pull itself together again just within months and quickly get ready for the next by-elections.
As such, some people believe Lau is refusing to withdraw her judicial review application in order to buy more time for the camp.
Lau has recently told a media program she is considering withdrawing her judicial review application, noting that she is still discussing the matter with the pro-democracy camp and no decision has been made.
Some pan-dems believe their efforts at talking Lau into giving up her lawsuit are still in progress, and they hope Lau would eventually change her mind.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 17
Translation by Alan Lee with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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