Over a thousand register to run in DC elections

October 18, 2019 13:17
Returning officers still have to validate and confirm the eligibility of some of the nominees. Photo: HKEJ

More than 1,000 people have joined the District Council elections scheduled for Nov. 24.

The two-week nomination period started on Oct. 4 and ended at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

A total of 1,104 nomination forms were received by the returning officers of the 18 districts, according to a government press release.

There was one withdrawal of candidacy on Tuesday and five more on Thursday, bringing the final number of nominees to 1,098.

A full list of the validly nominated candidates will be gazetted after the returning officers have validated and confirmed their eligibility. The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) will hold a briefing for candidates and their agents at the AsiaWorld-Expo at 8 p.m. next Thursday.

Each of the 452 constituencies in the 18 districts has more than one registered candidate, meaning no candidate will get elected automatically, at least for now, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Data showed that in the past five DC elections since the 1997 handover, each, except the one in 2007, had seen about 70 white zones where the only candidate was elected automatically. In the latest one held in 2015, most of the 68 candidates elected automatically were from the pro-establishment camp.

Things may still change in this year's elections as the returning officers have yet to validate and confirm the eligibility of some of the nominees.

These nominees include Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary-general of the pro-democracy party Demosistō; Lester Shum Ngo-fai, former deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students; and incumbent lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick.

The three are from the pan-democratic camp, with Wong running in South Horizons West constituency of the Southern District Council, Shum in Hoi Bun constituency of the Tsuen Wan District Council, and Chu in Pat Heung South constituency of the Yuen Long District Council respectively.

The others, also from pro-democracy parties, included one nominated by the Democratic Party, nine by the Civic Party, one by the Labour Party and one by the Neo Democrats.

The pan-democratic camp itself has two or more nominees competing against each other in about 30 constituencies, while the pro-establishment camp is also facing a similar situation in some constituencies.

Election campaigns are expected to be particularly intense in eight constituencies, where five people are competing for a single seat.

As many as 19 sitting lawmakers have also registered for the DC elections. They include James To Kun-sun and Roy Kwong Chun-yu of the Democratic Party, Leung Yiu-chung of the Neighbourhood and Worker’s Service Centre, Starry Lee Wai-king, who chairs the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), and DAB vice chairman Holden Chow Ho-ding.

These five lawmakers represent the District Council (Second) functional constituency, commonly known as “Super District Council” functional constituency.

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