Pro-Beijing lawmaker Christopher Chung Shu-kun has decided to stay in his party to run for re-election in the Legislative Council election in September. However, he is effectively prevented from being re-elected after being placed second on the DAB’s list of candidates.
Earlier in June, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) decided that it will only field one group of candidates in the Hong Kong Island district for the election. Thus, if Chung stands, he will only be placed second. Chung had previously suggested he would withdraw from the party and run independently if not listed first.
“I am still disappointed by the decision,” he said. “But it will cause great difficulty for the DAB’s election campaign if I leave.”
He said the DAB will face great challenges this year as many candidates have announced their potential runs: “The DAB cannot risk being split up.”
“I cannot face our efforts – for the 20-odd years of our organisation – being split apart and going into decline,” he said.
Chung, commonly known as “Tree Gun” – a play on his name, was a district councillor between 1991 and 2015. He joined the DAB in 1993, but only won his LegCo term in 2012, after several elections as a district-level campaigner for other top-listed candidates.
Chung said he decided to “give up his own personal interests,” to stand with his “brothers and sisters” in the party for the September election.
“If I run independently, they will feel very confused, because for many years they have been supporting me as well as the DAB,” he said.
His party had endorsed vice-chair Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan at the top of the list to run in Hong Kong Island. Chung said he will be happy wherever he is placed on the list.
“For getting out the votes, I can accept being placed second,” he said. The DAB had won two seats from the same list in the past, he added.
Chung said he met Cheung in 2000, as they were both part of the Eastern district branch. Chung clarified that he had never criticised Cheung: “We are good brothers, we worked together, we are very friendly in private.”
“Although it would be better if I am on top of the list… but in time, I believe Horace Cheung will do better than me,” he added. “I can only be a lawmaker for one more term, but Cheung is younger.”
He also said that the China Liaison Office has no role in his re-election campaign, although he has met with some of its officers at public events this month.
Chung said that he has yet to consider his future after the election.