Hong Kong pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee has announced her re-election bid, vowing to push for economic and public policy reforms in a “functioning” legislature, as the opposition camp plans to take control of the chamber and vote down government proposals.
The New People’s Party chairwoman will be running for a fourth four-year term in the Hong Kong Island constituency, while former Liberal Party district councillor Dominic Lee Tsz-king, who joined Ip’s party in May, will run in New Territories East.
Eunice Yung Hoi-yan, the party’s vice-chairwoman, won a seat in New Territories East four years ago, but said she would not seek another term after Lee expressed interest in winning the party’s endorsement to run.
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The city’s governance, education, and economic structures need to be reformed
Regina Ip, lawmaker
In a video message on social media on Friday, Ip – also an Executive Council member and former security minister – said the anti-government protests that erupted in Hong Kong in June last year had further exposed the city’s deep-rooted problems.
“These issues [can be found] in Hong Kong people’s, especially young people’s, national identity and our economy,” she said.
“These problems need to be solved in a rational, pragmatic and functioning Legco.”
Ip added that while the city’s legislature had become more and more chaotic since she was first elected in 2008, she wanted to win another term and push for better public policies.
“I hope that with my experience and efforts, Legco can function properly,” she said.
“The city’s governance, education and economic structures need to be reformed … so Hong Kong can reinvent itself on national, regional and international levels, and build a brighter future.”
Lee said he hoped the pro-establishment camp’s supporters would vote for him, so he could be a vocal critic of the opposition bloc in the chamber.
“We have been too focused on livelihood issues … we need to regain our lost voice in Legco,” he added.
Lee said the pro-establishment camp must not let the opposition bloc become the majority in the legislature.
The pro-democracy bloc’s plan, code-named “35-plus”, aims for a simple majority in the 70-seat Legco. The bloc hopes that would be sufficient to veto the annual budget and force the government to accede to their demands, including universal suffrage.
About 610,000 city residents had earlier voted in an unofficial primary to decide which candidates should represent the opposition camp in the September polls.
The winners included Joshua Wong Chi-fung and 14 other hopefuls from the so-called “resistance bloc” – which favours more confrontational tactics against authorities.
One of them, student leader-turned-district councillor Lester Shum, signed up on Friday to run in the District Council (Second) functional constituency – often referred to as “super seats”.
Shum said he did not sign the declaration form pledging to uphold Hong Kong’s Basic Law and allegiance to the city.
“Some 610,000 people took part in the primary … If the government wants to disqualify me, it would disqualify the enormous public mandate behind us too,” he warned.
Millions of voters not registered in other functional constituencies, which elect representatives from various trade and professional sectors, are eligible to vote in the “super seats”, named so because those holding them have larger mandates than their colleagues.
Separately, engineer Wilson Wong Wai-shun, who was endorsed by the opposition camp, signed up to challenge pro-Beijing lawmaker Lo Wai-kwok in the engineering sector.
Wong’s nominees included former development minister Mak Chai-kwong.
In 2013, Mak and assistant highways director Tsang King-man were found guilty of defrauding the government out of HK$700,000 (US$90,000) in housing allowances. But they have had their names cleared at the city’s top court in 2016.
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This article Hong Kong elections: pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip announces bid to run in Legco polls and vows to push for economic, public policy reforms first appeared on South China Morning Post