Pro-Beijing lawmaker Christopher Chung Shu-kun has said that he is very disappointed that his party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), will not be supporting him to be at the top of a list to run for re-election. The decision has effectively prevented him from being re-elected, but he has yet to decide whether he will quit the party.
Chung, commonly known as “Tree Gun”, is a lawmaker for Hong Kong Island. The DAB decided on Wednesday that it will only field one list of candidates in the district for the Legislative Council election in September, with the party’s vice-chair Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan on top.
Party chairman Starry Lee Wai-king said it was a practical decision, taken to avoid two lists of candidates from the same party competing for votes, which may ultimately lead to worse results.
Lee said the party “highly appreciate” Chung’s contributions: “More than one member among us wants to run, but as there could only be one or two leading the lists, there must be some members who will feel disappointed.”
But Chung, who is now 59 years old, said he could not understand and could not agree with the party ignoring his wish to seek re-election.
“In fact, I am better than anyone else in experience, number of votes and chances,” he said. “The DAB party has a strong base of service in the Eastern District, and has the most district councillors, it has the ability to send two lists to run in Hong Kong Island, to seek to maintain the two current seats.”
“Now it has given up before a fight, it was confusing,” he added.
Before the party’s decision was made, Chung wrote on his Facebook account on Wednesday afternoon that he has been busy working on “a big project”, and asked people to give “likes” to him to support him.
In a DBC radio programme on Thursday, Chung said that he cannot convince himself to run in the second place in a list, but he believes that he will have discussions with Lee in the coming few days, to see whether he should quit the party to run independently, saying he had considered it previously.
Chung won election to LegCo for the first time in 2012, after several failed campaigns since 2000. Chung was first elected as an Eastern district councillor in 1991, but lost to newcomer Chui Chi-kin last November.
The decision by Chung’s party could be linked toca decreased number of seats in Hong Kong Island – from 7 to 6, due to population shifts – and a rising number of potential candidates, namely localist group Youngspiration’s Baggio Leung Chung-hang, businessman Ricky Wong Wai-kay and district councillor Paul Zimmerman.