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Hong Kong

Hong Kong “patriots” poll results

Thursday 30 December 2021, by Selina Cheng

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Hong Kong’s “patriots only” election, the first held under a revamped system ordered by Beijing which marginalises democrats, saw a record low turnout as pro-government candidates swept into the expanded legislature.

Around 1.3 million voters cast ballots on Sunday 19 December for a 30.2 per cent voter turnout – 5.6 percentage points less than the last historic low in the 1995 legislative election under British colonial rule.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a statement on Sunday night that the new legislature would bring an era of “good governance” to the city.

With ballot counting for all constituencies completed by Monday at around 11am, pro-establishment candidates swept the seats in the new 90-person legislature, which will have just one member not from the pro-establishment bloc.

In the 10 geographic constituencies which each elected two members, all 11 candidates who identified as pro-democracy, independent or just non-establishment lost by wide margins as turnout slumped.

In Hong Kong Island East, Jason Poon, a construction engineer who blew the whistle on the MTR’s Shatin-Central Link scandal in 2018, nabbed 14,435 votes compared to more than 64,000 for the most popular, pro-Beijing, candidate.

Former District Councillor Adrian Lau Cheuk-yu won the second largest number of votes among the democrats with 12,828 – compared to over 83,000 for the most popular candidate in New Territories South West. Other self proclaimed pro-democracy candidates received votes only in the thousands, including Fong Lung-fei, Wong Sing-chi, Choi Ming-hei and Mandy Tam Heung-man.

In the Election Committee sector, 11 candidates were rejected by voters including Lan Kwai Fong Group Chairman Allan Zeman, Michael Rowse, a former civil servant and head of InvestHK, and electrician Vincent Diu, who was heralded by Beijing as an example of the diversity and competition in the “patriots” polls.

Many who won the most votes from the city’s 1,448 Election Committee members – charged with selecting 40 LegCo members from 51 candidates – were incumbent lawmakers who had switched from running in the direct district polls. Among them were Michael Luk of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions; the pro-Beijing DAB’s Elizabeth Quat and Horace Cheung; Eunice Yung of the New People’s Party which is also pro-Beijing; and Ma Fung-kwok and Paul Tse.

Reverend Canon Peter Koon Ho-ming, the provincial secretary general of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, meanwhile, becomes Hong Kong’s first religious leader to join the legislature as a member of the election committee constituency.

The only “non-pro-establishment” candidate elected was Tik Chi-yuen. The founder of the self-declared centrist party Third Side won in the social welfare functional constituency, with about 1,400 votes. His competitors Chu Lai-ling representing the DAB and Yip Cham-kai who ran independently had 872 and 196 votes respectively.

By 9:30 a.m. on Monday, the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre was largely empty as final results from the functional constituencies came in. Only a handful of election hopefuls or supporters were present.

The last result in the election was the one for the labour functional constituency, where four candidates were running for three seats.

Kwok Wai-keung and Dennis Leung of the pro-Beijing HKFTU, together with Chau Siu-chung of the pro-establishment Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Unions were elected.

The four labour candidates and their campaign staffers, including losing candidate Lee Kwong-yu, chanted “Unity in the labour sector, sure win!” on stage after the winners were declared.

In March, 2021, Beijing passed legislation to ensure “patriots” govern Hong Kong. The move reduced democratic representation in the legislature, tightened control of elections and introduced a pro-Beijing vetting panel to select candidates. The Hong Kong government said the overhaul would ensure the city’s stability and prosperity. But the changes also prompted international condemnation, as it makes it near-impossible for pro-democracy candidates to stand.

The turnout slumped despite a vigorous campaign by Beijing and Hong Kong authorities encouraging people to vote, including an advertising blitz and last-minute SMS appeals to electors. Even Beijing’s top man on Hong Kong affairs Xia Baolong broke with tradition to urge Hongkongers to vote.

Candidates from major pro-establishment parties canvassed late into the evening but the crowds stayed away – in contrast to the city’s last elections, for district councils in November 2019, when turnout topped 71 per cent as voters expressed overwhelming support for pro-democracy candidates.

Full cooperation with government

Chief Executive Carrie Lam played down the low public support, saying Monday she had had no expectations for the turnout. Her only goals would be to ensure that the system would from now on be run by “patriots” only after an election race which was fair, efficient, and “humane.”

“If the high voting rate is based on political deterioration, or based on some candidates who are fighting for authority to endanger national security, this is not a high voting rate we agree with,” Lam said. Similarly, if the high voting rate is based on extreme divisions in society, like in 2019 the ‘blue’ and ‘yellow’ division, this is also not something we should be happy with.”

“When the 7th Legislative Council commences, we will cooperate fully with them to boost the economy… and improve livelihoods. We hope to have reasonable, practical interaction on how to fix deep-rooted problems in Hong Kong,” she said before leaving on her annual duty visit to Beijing.

Geographical constituencies (20 seats)

  • Hong Kong Island East: Ng Chau-pei from the HKFTU and Edward Leung from the DAB won with 64,509 and 26,799 votes, beating New People’s Party’s Liu Tin Shing and self-proclaimed non-pro-establishment candidate Jason Poon.
  • Hong Kong Island West: Veteran lawmaker Regina Ip from the New People’s Party won another term with 65,694 votes, along with DAB’s Chan Hok-fung, who received 36,628 votes, beating “pro-democracy independent” candidate Fong Lung-fei.
  • Kowloon East: Bill Tang from the HKFTU and Frankie Ngan from the DAB were elected with 65,036 and 64,275 votes, defeating three other “independent” or “non-pro-establishment candidates, Chan Chun-hung, Wu Kin-wa, and Ellen Li.
  • Kowloon West: With 64,353 and 36,840 votes, Vincent Cheng from the DAB, and former member of the pro-establishment group, the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, Scott Leung, beat veteran politician Frederick Fung.
  • Kowloon Central: DAB Chairperson Starry Lee won the most votes among all elected lawmakers in the geographical constituency with 95,976, and won along with Kitson Yang of the Kowloon Federation of Associations, who received 35,702. The pair defeated “non-pro-establishment” candidate Mandy Tam.
  • New Territories South East: Stanley Li from the DAB and Connie Lam from Professional Power Limited won with 82,595 and 38,214 votes, beating “democrat” Daryl Choi, who received 6,718 votes.
  • New Territories North: Law Kwok-fan from the DAB and Gary Zhang from New Prospect for Hong Kong defeated independent candidate Wilson Shum and Judy Tzeng by winning 70,584 and 28,986 votes.
  • New Territories North West: Incumbent lawmakers, Holden Chow from the DAB and Michael Tien from Roundtable, won another term with 93,195 and 40,009 votes, beating Third Side candidate Casper Wong.
  • New Territories South West: Ben Chan from the DAB and Joephy Chan from the HKFTU beat self-proclaimed democrat Adrian Lau by winning 83,303 and 62,690 votes.
  • New Territories North East: DAB’s Gary Chan and New People’s Party’s Dominic Lee defeated Path of Democracy candidate Allan Wong and “democrat” Nelson Wong, and won 62,855 and 61,253 votes.

20 December 2021

Source (including many graphics) Hong Kong Free Press.


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