Hong Kong Politics & Protest

‘Umbrella soldiers’ and pan-dems may join hands in upcoming elections, but localists remain sceptical

“Umbrella soldier” group Youngspiration have expressed willingness to cooperate with pan-democrats in the upcoming elections, but localist group Hong Kong Indigenous is sceptical about the possibility of coordinating with the traditional camps. It said it may work with other localists instead.

Baggio Leung Chung-hang, the convenor of Youngpiration, spoke on radio Thursday morning about cooperating with pan-democratic parties. Responding to Benny Tai Yiu-ting’s Thunderbolt plan, he said: “If [Tai] can get the big [pan-democratic] parties to come together, then count me in [on the plan].”

Baggio Leung Chun-hang of Youngspiration

Baggio Leung Chun-hang of Youngspiration. Photo: Youngspiration.

Announced in early February, Tai’s “Thunderbolt plan” calls for pan-democrats to cooperate to obtain more than half the seats in the Legislative Council. He said that it was “not impossible” and that it would “bring the pan-democrats more power if there are discussions about political reform in the future.”

Youngspiration, an “umbrella soldier” group, was borne out of the pro-democracy Occupy movement and refuses to be defined by the city’s traditional political divide, preferring to explore new ways to achieve democracy in Hong Kong.

Room for cooperation?

Pro-democracy Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, the newly elected New Territories East Legislative Council member, also told RTHK that he had hopes that the pan-democrats and localists could work together in the future. He said that there was room for cooperation on controversial issues such as the Hong Kong International Airport’s third runway and the Guangzhou–Shenzhen–Hong Kong express rail link.

However, localist group Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung Tin-kei said to RTHK on Wednesday that he thinks it would be difficult to cooperate with the pro-establishment and the pan-democrats at this point in time. He said that his group may work with other localists.

yeung alvin leung edward

Yeung and Leung shaking hands with each other. Photo: Apple Daily.

The statements were made following the New Territories East by-elections held last Sunday, which was won by Yeung.

According to RTHK, both Yeung and Leung have said they acknowledge that the votes may not necessarily mean there is full support of their stances, but rather a collective dissatisfaction with the stances of their opponents.

While localist groups support democracy, they are better known for their anti-communist position and their close association with movements promoting the expansion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and independence.

Gary Fan Kwok-wai of Neo Democrats.

Gary Fan Kwok-wai of Neo Democrats. File Photo: Apple Daily.

Other election trends

Pro-democracy lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai also expressed interest on a radio show on Thursday to run for a “super district council seat” in the Functional Constituency in the Legislative Council next term. He said that his party, Neo Democrats, will make a decision on a representative within the coming month.

A “super district councillor” is a lawmaker of the District Council (Second) functional constituency. Candidates of the seat must be district councillors, and nominated by 15 other district councillors. There are five “super district councillor” seats.

'Umbrella soldiers' and pan-dems may join hands in upcoming elections, but localists remain sceptical