With the District Council elections just two days away, the Democratic Party is urging supporters to vote “so as not to let Leung Chun-ying win a second term.”
At a press conference, Democratic Party founding leader Martin Lee Chu-ming said that a lot of voters may believe that District Council elections are not important. However, if the pro-establishment camp gain more seats than in previous years, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying could win the approval of Beijing and win a second term, Apple Daily reported. “If you don’t want him to stay [in power], everyone please come out and vote.”
He also asked voters belonging to districts in which the candidates were automatically elected due to a lack of competition, to hop over to the neighbouring districts and support the party.
Democratic Party Chairperson Emily Lau Wai-hing said that she is very earnestly and passionately asking the supporters to vote, as there were rumours that there would be a low voters turnout this year and that there was a generally a poor atmosphere surrounding the election, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
Therefore, she said, she hoped the voters would pool their support towards the Democratic Party, as well as the Power of Democracy, which the party was cooperating with for the election. She said that it was very important for the pan-democratic camp to strengthen their foothold in the districts.
Sin Chung-kai said that the vote-rigging situation was very serious and that, in many of the districts, there were people damaging banners and handing out posters smearing candidates. He also said he hoped that everyone would support candidates belonging to the Democratic Party and Power of Democracy.
The District Council elections will take place on Sunday, November 22. This is the first time “umbrella soldiers” – meaning activists from the pro-democracy Occupy protests last year – would be running as candidates in the elections. Aside from the controversy of “ghost voters” registered to bogus addresses across the city, there have also been incidents of alleged vandalism and assault.
Read: HKFP’s Explainer on Hong Kong’s 2015 District Council elections.