Neo Democrats member Gary Fan Kwok-wai has said that campaigning by members of his own party for independent candidate Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, rather than for him, indirectly led to the loss of his seat to a pro-establishment challenger in Sunday’s election.
Andrew Cheng was a former lawmaker who decided not to run in 2012 but joined the race this year. New People’s Party challenger Eunice Yung Hoi-yan is widely considered to be supported by the China Liaison Office, an organ of the Chinese government in Hong Kong.
Speaking on Wednesday on a Commercial Radio programme, Fan said that he believes the biggest reason for the loss of his LegCo seat to Yung was the entry into the race by Cheng, a former Neo Democrat. Although Fan accepted that he is responsible for his own defeat, he also laid some blame on the three Neo Democrats district councillors who defected to Cheng’s camp.
Fan also mentioned that he had “spotted hints of their intention” to defect to Cheng’s camp even before the election. Residents of their districts asked him questions such as, “why are you encouraging us to vote in such a manner?” and “Have you and Cheng formed an electoral alliance?”
Fan said he “was worried, but never thought it would result in the worst possible outcome.” The three councillors “even campaigned for Cheng on the day of the election openly and unhesitatingly,” he said.
Fan said if he had the chance to speak to Cheng, he would tell him that “you need to be responsible to citizens and the wider political landscape for your own political actions.”
On the same programme, Labour Party member Cyd Ho Sau-lan stated that she did not understand why Cheng ran in the election, saying he had previously mentioned that he had no interest in running for LegCo.
The Neo Democrats held an executive committee meeting on Tuesday, in which Gary Fan’s resignation from his ex officio executive membership was accepted, and a motion to expel the members who had defected was approved.