The race for seats in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco) is heating up, with the pro-establishment and opposition camps unveiling their candidates against the backdrop of a tough new national security law imposed by Beijing.
Among those who topped the opposition’s primary polls was activist Joshua Wong, who announced his win in Kowloon East district on social media yesterday.
He promised to “bring Hong Kongers’ voices to the world” and said he expected more political censorship and disqualification of pan-democratic candidates.
“It may be the last free election for Hong Kongers, but it marks our real struggle for freedoms in the city,” the young activist said in a Facebook post.
Voters in the unofficial primaries decide on the pan-democratic candidates to be fielded in the Sept 6 Legco election.
This time round, younger activists and localists have made up the new crop of opposition candidates. They came out on top in the primaries against the veterans, including incumbent Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong.
Ms Wong yesterday admitted failing to make the cut in Kowloon West, adding that she respected the decision of voters and would not compete in the September vote.
On Monday, preliminary results of the opposition camp were leaked, forcing the organisers of the unofficial primaries to release results. All the candidates are expected to meet the press today.
Yesterday, the city’s largest pro-Beijing party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), called the upcoming election the most challenging one in its history.
Party chair Starry Lee is set to run for the “super” seat, with Kwun Tong district councillor Frankie Ngan second on the ballot.
STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM
It may be the last free election for Hong Kongers, but it marks our real struggle for freedoms in the city.
ACTIVIST JOSHUA WONG, on Facebook.
Super seats were introduced in 2012 to improve the functional constituencies, the bulk of which are elected by voters from their respective professional or trade sectors such as tourism and finance.
There are five super seats out of the 35 seats in the functional constituencies.
Others seeking re-election include Mr Horace Cheung (Hong Kong Island), Mr Vincent Cheng (Kowloon West) and Ms Elizabeth Quat (New Territories East).
The DAB party holds 13 of the 70 seats in the current Legco.
Ms Lee slammed the opposition for trying to destroy Hong Kong by vetoing all government proposals and paralysing Legco.
She said the opposition was aiming to force Beijing into cracking down on the territory and pave the way for Western sanctions.