September 21, 2018 – Former pro-democracy lawmaker Lau Siu-lai announced that she has decided to run in the Legislative Council by-election scheduled for November 25, aiming to reclaim the seat she lost after she was disqualified.
Lau told a press conference yesterday that she expects to be nominated by the Labour Party, which she joined in June, as a candidate to represent the Kowloon West geographical constituency.
The founder of Democracy Groundwork is expected to be the candidate of first choice of the pan-democratic camp in the upcoming election as she has reportedly won the support of most political parties in the bloc.
Lau and three other pro-democracy lawmakers－“Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Edward Yiu Chung-yim－were disqualified by the High Court in July last year for improper oath-taking in October 2016.
While seeking to regain her seat, the 42-year-old Lau admitted that it is difficult to say whether she will be barred from joining the by-election under current political circumstances.
She said she will submit her application form to run on the first day of the nomination period, which is from Oct. 2 to Oct. 15, so that the pan-democratic camp will have enough time to find a substitute candidate should the returning officer decide that she is not qualified.
Lau reiterated in the press conference that she had never supported Hong Kong independence. Her previous calls for self-determination pertain to genuine universal suffrage and autonomy in livelihood issues such as standard working hours and a universal pension, according to media reports.
Lau has also been pushing for legislation of standard working hours and sound retirement protection. She said her campaign slogan is “distinguish right from wrong, tell truth from lies and safeguard happiness”.
Former lawmaker Frederick Fung Kin-kee, who is also interested in the vacant Legco seat, earlier said the pan-democratic camp’s “Plan B” candidate Lee Cheuk-yan was “hand-picked” instead of going through a primary that signified a democratic process.
Asked about Fung’s remarks, Lau vowed to strive for coordination with Fung while calling on the people to support whoever is chosen by the pan-democratic camp to run in the by-election. Fung expressed clearly on Wednesday that he will consider joining the race only in case Lau is barred from the by-election.
Lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching, who represents Kowloon West, said if Lau wins, Hong Kong as a whole will benefit because the number of pan-democrats in Legco will return to 17, the same as the number of representatives from the pro-establishment camp, and such situation will give both camps an equal veto power under the split voting system of Legco.
Civic Party chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit, a former Legco member who also represented the Kowloon West constituency, said his party single-mindedly supports Lau.