Ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai, who wants to regain her Kowloon West seat by running in the upcoming Legislative Council by-election, said she will keep communicating with fellow pan-democrat and potential rival Frederick Fung Kin-kee.
At a tea gathering with media on Thursday, Lau said she respects the right of Fung, a former lawmaker, to run in the Nov. 25 poll, adding that she has been consulting with other groups in the pan-democratic camp and the process has been smooth, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Lau, the founder of Democracy Groundwork, said Fung had supported her plan to run in the by-election, although he now appears to have changed his mind.
Fung, the former chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, has criticized Lau, saying that if she wins the nomination, it is only because she will be “hand-picked”, adding that this shows the return of “authoritarianism”.
Lau said she will try her best to contact Fung, adding that she respects his right to become a candidate himself.
Lau is planning to form a Kowloon West district support group and invite local community groups and veteran democrats to join it in order to cooperate on issues such as the Shatin-Central Link scandal.
She said she hopes such issues will help unite the pan-democratic camp.
Lau also criticized Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan, who plans to run against her as a pro-establishment candidate in the by-election, saying that Chan should have done a better job in healthcare planning when she was a political assistant to then food and health secretary Ko Wing-man.
Chan has recently positioned herself as a “health ambassador” in her campaign.
On the by-election, Lau said she could not help but wonder if the government was deliberately delaying the announcement the nomination period.
The government might be doing so to aid the pro-establishment camp in the by-election while putting the pan-democrats in an awkward position, she said.
On Friday morning, the Registration and Electoral Office finally announced that the nomination period will run from Oct. 2 to 15.
The electoral law stipulates that the nomination period for a Legco by-election must not be less than 14 days or more than 21 days and it must end not less than 28 days and not more than 42 days before the polling day.
The Electoral Affairs Commission announced in late June that the by-election for the Kowloon West geographical constituency will be held on Nov. 25.
Lau and three other pro-democracy lawmakers－“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chungand Edward Yiu Chung-yim－were disqualified from Legco by the High Court in July last year after their oath-taking in October 2016 was declared invalid.
Lau later decided to abandon her appeal against the decision to pave the way for the by-election.
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