Hong Kong Law & Crime Politics & Protest

Corruption watchdog drops investigation into pro-Beijing candidate’s sudden election withdrawal

Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency has dropped an investigation into a Legislative Council candidate’s sudden withdrawal from the election last year, according to a Labour Party activist.

Ken Chow Wing-kan suspended his campaign last August saying that he was reluctant to allow people close to him to “get into even greater trouble.” He later said that the threats originated from secretive agents acting on behalf of Beijing, who suggested he should give way to fellow pro-Beijing candidate Junius Ho Kwan-yiu.

Ken Chow

Ken Chow. Photo: Facebook.

Chow, formerly of the pro-Beijing Liberal Party, had also claimed a powerful friend had offered him money amounting to double his election spending and a government position in return of not running, though he refused. His rival Ho eventually went on to win the seat.

‘Lack of evidence’

Political parties reported the incident to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Chow had said he told the agency about occasions where he was persuaded not to run, but he did not reveal any names to them, saying it may bring forth further trouble.

On Tuesday, Chiu Yan-loy – a Labour Party activist – said he had received a call from the agency saying that the case had been dropped owing to a lack of evidence.

Chiu said he was concerned about similar cases occurring in the future if the truth of this case was not uncovered.

“This was a naked violent threat [against Chow] – will they be even more flagrant next time?” he said.

Chiu added that recent elections have seen different levels of interference, and dropping the investigation may weaken Hong Kong people’s trust in a fair process.

Corruption watchdog drops investigation into pro-Beijing candidate's sudden election withdrawal