A former student leader has said he would consider running in an upcoming by-election if he receives support from both localist groups and pan-democratic parties.
HK01 reported on Tuesday that Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, 22, was reaching out to different groups to discuss a potential campaign. Later that night, Cheung admitted in a social media post that different political factions have been persuading him to join the by-election.
Cheung, a former head of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Student Union, said the date and number of seats of the by-election is still uncertain, and it was too early for him to make any decisions.
He was said to be considering running for the seat in the New Territories East constituency left by the disqualified Youngspiration localist Baggio Leung Chung-hang.
Cheung, also a former student group Scholarism spokesperson, said his biggest wish was that the seat would be taken by a person accepted by localist groups, and that pan-democrats would not be split over the by-election.
Although Cheung was a student activist with more traditional pan-democratic groups, he is considered by many to have localist tendencies.
Cheung said he would be willing to join a coordination mechanism “in the hopes of reducing friction between different groups, and to prevent the pro-Beijing camp from taking advantage.”
Cheung added that, should he be elected, he would only complete the current term’s remaining time – until July 2020 – and would not seek re-election.
He was also a senate member of the university last year. He was recently disqualified from running as a candidate for the Chief Executive Election Committee on the grounds that he did not have “substantial connection” to the higher education sub-sector.
Former lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai, of the pro-democracy camp, has also shown an interest in running in the area.
Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, another former lawmaker of the area, has proposed that the candidate for the by-election for the camp should be decided in a primary.
Democratic Party vice-chairman Lo Kin-hei and Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan Suk-chong both told HK01 that their parties’ support for Cheung depended on whether he would join a primary mechanism.