As expected, former lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee, who has quit the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (ADPL), the party he co-founded in the 1980s, finally admitted his intention to run in the upcoming Legislative Council by-election during a tea gathering with media on Wednesday.
Fung said that if ousted lawmaker Lau Siu-lai, the “Plan A” candidate of the pro-democracy camp, is barred by the government from running again and the pan-democrats send Lee Cheuk-yan as “Plan B” candidate, he will consider joining the race.
He said he believes he stands a pretty good chance of winning the by-election in November.
His latest statements came as no surprise as it has long been speculated that he is eyeing the vacant seat in the Kowloon West geographical constituency.
But his decision to run is likely to put some of the seasoned ADPL members in a moral predicament.
There are currently seven ADPL members in the Sham Shui Po District Council, some of whom have known Fung for many years and are very close to him.
If Fung throws his hat in the ring, they will inevitably have to make a very difficult choice between Lee and their highly respected “mentor”.
Sze Tak-loy, the current ADPL chairman, has reiterated that his party won’t waver in its decision to endorse Lau as the candidate of first choice for the pro-democracy camp.
But as to whether the ADPL would switch its support to Lee if Lau is banned from running again, Sze said he and his partymates have yet to make any final decision on that.
He insisted that a primary should be held within the pro-democracy camp to decide who is going to replace Lau in that case.
Sze stressed that he did not want to see more than one pan-democratic candidate running in the November contest.
On the other hand, a pan-democrat pointed out that Fung’s decision to challenge Lee’s candidacy would only stiffen the government’s resolve to disqualify Lau.
That’s because disqualifying Lau could trigger intense infighting between Fung and Lee, which in turn could boost the prospects of pro-establishment candidates.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept 20
Translation by Alan Lee with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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