The pro-democracy IT sector lawmaker has called on chief executive candidate Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to file a complaint to prevent Beijing’s organ in Hong Kong from campaigning for her.
Lawmaker Charles Mok Nai-kwong claimed that several pro-democracy electors have been receiving telephone calls from either the China Liaison Office, or “intermediaries familiar with the Chinese side,” campaigning for Lam. However, the former chief secretary said on Thursday that she had no power to prevent Beijing’s “visible hand” from canvassing votes for her.
Mok said that if he was running in an election himself, and groups who were not supposed to canvass votes were helping him, he would lodge a complaint with the Electoral Affairs Commission, Hong Kong’s election watchdog. He would also publicly request the groups to cease their activities.
“I think this is a viewpoint, or part of common sense, that should be shared by anyone who has run in an election on any level,” he said.
He also added that the 300 pro-democracy members of the Election Committee – Hong Kong’s 1,200-member electoral college which votes for the next chief executive – were not the main targets of Beijing’s alleged vote-canvassing. Yet some of them received calls anyway.
Calls for donations
Earlier, electors from the pro-Beijing camp claimed to have received calls asking them to vote for Lam, including lawmakers Michael Tien Puk-sun of the New People’s Party and Felix Chung Kwok-pan of the Liberal Party. Local media speculated the calls were from the Liaison Office.
On Thursday, online media HK01 also reported that a Shenzhen-based business association named Harmony Club has been sending text messages to its mainland Chinese members, asking them to donate up to HK$100,000 each to Lam’s campaign.
The coalition of pro-democracy electors, known as Democrats 300+, says it will support a chief executive candidate who advocates universal suffrage. The form of universal suffrage, however, should not be limited by the so-called “831 decision” of Beijing’s top legislative body in 2014, which stipulates that only two to three candidates would be admitted, following screening by a nominating committee.
Pro-democracy legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok Wing-hang said on Thursday that, as far as he knew, pro-democracy electors were more likely to nominate former financial secretary John Tsang Chun-wah or retired judge Woo Kwok-hing as chief executive election candidates. Yet Tsang has endorsed the “831 decision.”
Regina Ip is also standing in the small-circle election scheduled for March 26, 2017.