By-elections for four Legislative Council seats in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon West, New Territories East and the architectural functional constituency will be held on March 11, following the oath-taking row which saw six pro-democracy and localist lawmakers disqualified.
HKFP profiles the various candidates to replace the ousted lawmakers in the three geographical constituencies and one functional constituency elected by popular vote.
Hong Kong Island: Seat vacated by Demosisto’s Nathan Law
Au Nok-hin, Democrats
Seen as a substitute candidate for Agnes Chow – who was barred from election for her party’s support of self-determination – Au submitted his application to run close to the nomination deadline.
Au, who became a Southern District councillor in 2011 by winning steady support in the area, was previously the convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, which organises the annual July 1 pro-democracy march. He withdrew from the moderate Democratic Party last year, saying he wished to aide the “progressive” section of the pro-democracy camp following the increased persecution.
Judy Chan, New People’s Party
Pro-Beijing hopeful Judy Chan is currently a district councillor in Southern District’s South Horizons West constituency. Returning from the United States, Chan began her political career by beating pro-democracy actress Erica Yuen for the district seat in 2014, and placed second in the candidate list of New People’s Party heavyweight Regina Ip in the legislative elections two years later.
She has been rumoured to be the pro-Beijing candidate since last August. In media interviews, Chan has mainly emphasised her experience in community work, and was also supportive of Regina Ip’s criticisms of the Link real estate trust for selling off its portfolio of shopping malls at public housing estates to private investors.
Edward Yum, unaffiliated
Edward Yum surprisingly announced his intention to run in December. His father Yum Sin-ling was a legislator prior to 1997, and had close ties with Taiwan’s Kuomintang, once influential in Hong Kong.
A fund manager by profession, Yum was previously a member of the pro-democracy People Power, but his current political stance is unclear. In the 2016 elections, Yum supported localist Jonathan Ho, who ran on a platform of telling voters not to re-elect veteran lawmaker Raymond Wong.
In media interviews, Yum has denied that his candidacy will siphon votes from Demosisto’s Chow, before she was barred. His platform focuses on economic issues.
Ng Dick-hay, unaffiliated
Ng was the spokesperson of the Defend Hong Kong Campaign. He works in the information technology sector.
Ng said he is anti-Hong Kong independence. He often wrote commentaries on the pro-Beijing HKG Pao. He frequently attended RTHK’s weekly City Forum as an audience and gave comments.
Johnny Ma, a retired dental surgeon, was barred for not submitting enough valid nominations.
Kowloon West: Seat vacated by Youngspiration’s Yau Wai-ching
Edward Yiu, unaffiliated
The pro-democracy camp is holding a primary election to select a single candidate to replace localist Yau Wai-ching in Kowloon West and Baggio Leung in New Territories East.
Scholar Edward Yiu was ousted from his architectural sector legislative seat after adding a reference to “sustainable development” to his oath of office. The 52-year-old will not recontest the functional constituency, but will run in Kowloon West, describing himself as a “common denominator” between pro-democracy and localist groups.
The government sent a list of queries to Yiu regarding his allegiance to the Basic Law. His candidacy was approved only shortly before the deadline of the nomination period.
Vincent Cheng, Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB)
Sham Shui Po district councillor Vincent Cheng is the a pro-Beijing candidate. He won the primaries within the DAB in mid-2017 and has been campaigning since.
Cheng’s father ran a listed textiles and electronics business, and Cheng himself is married to the sister of actress Myolie Wu. But he has rejected the “rich kid” label in media interviews, saying he has a decade’s experience serving poor communities in working-class Sham Shui Po since being elected a councillor in 2007.
Jonathan Choi, unaffiliated
Jonathan Choi is a physiotherapist. He was a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, but he withdrew from the party citing differences in political views. He said that the party did not put livelihood issues first.
New Territories East – replacing the seat vacated by Youngspiration’s Baggio Leung
Gary Fan, Neo-Democrats/Hong Kong First
Gary Fan of the Neo Democrats was chosen after the pro-democracy camp primaries in a bid to regain the seat he held from 2012 to 2016.
Fan was originally a Democratic Party activist until he and other Neo Democrats splintered from the party after its support for a controversial political reform package in 2010. Since then, he has been considered localist-leaning, advocating policies to protect Cantonese and decrease reliance on water from mainland China.
Bill Tang, Federation of Trade Unions/DAB
Social worker Bill Tang is a pro-Beijing candidate. Like Kowloon West’s Cheng, his campaign is well-publicised with advertisements on various forms of public transport.
Having risen through the ranks in the Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), Tang became a legislator for the labour functional constituency in 2012. In 2016, he ran in the popularly-elected New Territories East constituency instead, and was defeated. In June 2017, Tang joined the DAB without leaving the FTU, and now has the backing of both pro-Beijing heavyweight parties.
Christine Fong, Livelihood First
Christine Fong was a government-appointed district councillor between 2008 and 2011, before being elected as a district councillor in 2012. She maintains a moderate stance, saying she is rational, constructive and is neither of the pro-democracy nor pro-Beijing camp.
She ran in the 2012 Legislative Council election, the February 2016 by-election and the September general election but lost with substantial amount of votes – 24,594, 33,424 and 34,544 respectively.
Nelson Wong, unaffiliated
Nelson Wong is a former lawmaker. He was a founding member of the Democratic Party who was expelled in 2015 because of his support of the government’s controversial election reform package that year.
He formed a new moderate group, Third Side, with former Democratic Party vice-chair Tik Chi-yuen. But Wong left the party since it did not support his run in the social welfare sector of the Legislative Council election in 2016.
Estella Chan, unaffiliated
Estella Chan is a company director. She ran in the 2016 Legislative Council election supporting the re-election of then-chief executive Leung Chun-ying. She obtained 486 votes at the time.
She became a popular internet meme after the election for a photo she featured in with lawmaker Alvin Yeung.
Joyce Chiu, unaffiliated
Joyce Chiu is a retired nursery teacher. She is a member of the Family School SODO (Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance) Concern Group, which opposes gay marriage.
She said that she was inspired by God to run, and that she successfully raised enough money for the election deposit thanks to prayer.
Localist Ventus Lau was barred from running as the election officer claimed Lau expressed “an apparent reluctance to denounce his hitherto manifested and sustained stance of independence of Hong Kong.”
Shatin district councillor James Chan was also barred from running as the election officer did not believe Chan changed his pro-independence stance.
Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape Functional Constituency – replacing the seat vacated by Edward Yiu
Paul Zimmerman, independent democrat
Paul Zimmerman, CEO of the group Designing Hong Kong, has been a district councillor since 2010. He is supported by Edward Yiu.
Tony Tse, unaffiliated
Tse is a surveyor and a former pro-Beijing lawmaker of the sector.