Nominations for Hong Kong’s small-circle chief executive election opened on Tuesday.
Most of the attention has centred on four main contenders: former chief secretary Carrie Lam, former finance chief John Tsang, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, and lawmaker Regina Ip. A fifth – pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung – has said he would run if “nominated” by members of the public via an unofficial platform.
But in fact, according to the Electoral Affairs Commission’s Central Platform, a total of 11 people have publicly declared their interest for the city’s top job.
They will need to receive 150 official nominations from the 1,200-member Election Committee in order to be named an official candidate by March 1, when the nomination period ends.
Realistically, few if any of them will reach this threshold and have their names printed on the 1,200 ballot sheets on March 26.
Meet the “other” six candidates.
70-year-old Oxford-educated former science professor Yu Wing-yin announced his candidacy on February 6. His platform focuses on the promotion of science, technology and education.
Yu told reporters that he had an advantage over other candidates, as he did not “carry any baggage” and has an international vision.
Yu also attempted to run in the last chief executive election in 2012, but bowed out after failing to receive 150 nominations.
He has an election theme song entitled “develop technology education to build Hong Kong.”
Albert Leung Sze-ho
Albert Leung has been a practising barrister since 2005, and is currently with Hennessy Chambers. He said that he would “actively consider” running on January 25, and announced his decision to run on February 5.
In his platform, he proposed enlarging the size of the Election Committee from 1,200 members to between 5,000 and 10,000 members and implement universal suffrage by 2022. He also proposed to aggressively tackle Hong Kong’s housing issues by halting land sales to private developers and building public housing.
Leung said that if he is elected, Hong Kong will play “the role of an intermediary in promoting the peaceful unification of the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.”
Jenny Kan Wai-fun
Jenny Kan claims to be an “experienced insurance professional” with a doctorate degree. Securities and Futures Commission records show that she held a license with Asia Insurance (Pensions Fund) Limited until 2003.
Kan previously attempted to run for chief executive in 2002. In her election advertisement this year, she wrote an open letter addressed to members of the Election Committee, promising to investigate fraud related to the Small House Policy. The controversial policy allows male indigenous villagers in the New Territories to build one small house during their lifetimes.
Peter Wong Yiu-suen
Peter Wong declared his intention to run at a Chinese restaurant in Tseung Kwan O on January 25. He reportedly once called himself the chief of the fictitious “Overseas General Office of the Communist Party of China.”
He said that he was the successor of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and the teacher of Chinese President Xi Jinping. He promised to negotiate directly with Xi to achieve universal suffrage in 2020.
Little else is known about him.
Vincent Lau Chi-wing
The equally mysterious Vincent Lau submitted his sole election advertisement to the government on December 30, 2016 – a series of posts on the online forum of local newspaper Ming Pao.
According to the posts, Lau is a 59 year-old security guard who claims he was educated at Hofstra University, a private college in the United States. He says he ran his own Chinese takeaway restaurant in Ireland from 1997 until 2010. He advocates universal suffrage for the Legislative Council by 2020, and for the chief executive by 2022.
Yang appears to be the most mysterious candidate of all, and little is known about him or her.
The Electoral Affairs Commission has not publicised any of Yang’s election advertisements at the time of this article’s publication.