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DAB leader is not starry-eyed about campaign
更新日期: 2016-03-10
活動舉辨日期: 2016-03-10 00:00

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) Chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king envisages a difficult Legislative Council election campaign due to the retirement of several veteran lawmakers.

Talking about the September election, Lee reveals that four DAB patriarchs — LegCo President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, former party chairman Tam Yiu-chung, Chan Kam-lam and Ip Kwok-him — will step down to give way to younger people.

"Young members of DAB will replace the old guards to run in the election,” she said. Lee vowed to encourage young party members to become more committed — with the understanding that the veterans will no longer be there to solve tough problems for them.

Lee, who became DAB chair in April 2015, admits it will be difficult to retain the 13 seats they have now.

With Tam retiring, the party can at best manage only two seats in New Territories (NT) West constituency. In the Hong Kong Island constituency, the number of seats is reduced from seven to six. As Tsang is leaving, it will be hard to keep the two Hong Kong Island constituency seats now held by the DAB.

And the party will also strive to double the sole "super seat”, or district council functional constituency seat, held by Lee herself. The candidate needs to be a district councilor and nominated by 15 other district councilors.

"I will call it a big victory if DAB can maintain the 13 seats,” she admitted. But she believes the pro-establishment camp, which has 43 out of 70 seats, can still manage to win the majority of the seats.

"Given the growth from the by-election, we can win an extra seat in NT East, while the additional seat in Kowloon West is open to competition,” Lee said with reasonable optimism.

In the LegCo NT East by-election on Feb 28, DAB candidate Holden Chow Ho-ding won 150,329 votes, or 34.8 percent of all votes, losing narrowly to the Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu by 10,551 ballots.

Given NT East is a strong base of the opposition camp, the lower turnout rate for by-elections and the highly confrontational political circumstances, Lee said the narrow margin was quite unexpected, showing Chow had harnessed support from local residents.

Discussing functional constituencies, she says IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok Nai-kwong is vulnerable. This is because he obstructed the establishment of the Innovation and Technology Bureau and the passage of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 against the wishes of the profession. Accountant Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong was criticized for bundling with the opposition camp against the electoral reform last year and could face challengers in this year’s election.

On the whole, the pro-establishment camp may gain a few more functional constituency seats — although they risk losing the medical constituency seat.

However, Lee is worried that radical action and misconduct will continue to plague the legislature.

"The parliamentary culture might deteriorate, as we have just seen the ‘pan-democrats’ discarding the unwritten rules by disavowing the common ground that was reached during the consultation and bills committee discussions on the copyright bill.

"It is pitiful that we can’t amend the Rules of Procedure. If we can prevent the opposition from filibustering through abuse of the quorum bell, we can solve a lot of problems,” she said.

 
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