Alvin Yeung wins Legco by-election

The Civic Party’s Alvin Yeung has promised to help reform Legco’s pan-democrats after a convincing win in the Legislative Council by-election for the New Territories East constituency.

Even though the pan-democratic vote was split between Yeung and other pro-democracy candidates – both more moderate and more radical – the barrister received 160,880 votes, or 37.2 percent of the 432,581 ballots cast, to beat out his closest challenger, Holden Chow of the DAB party, by more than 10,000 votes.

24 year-old activist Edward Leung from the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous also had a strong showing, garnering 66,524 votes — over 15 percent of the 432,581 total votes cast.

After the election results were announced early Monday morning, Yeung immediately pledged to shake up the way the pan-democrats operate in the legislative council.

“No doubt… Hong Kong people are expecting pan-democrats to reform, and I understand that I have this duty to take part in this reform,” Yeung said. He said the Civic Party is willing to assume greater responsibility and help unite the fractured camp.

His victory means that the pan-democratic camp will hold on to its one-seat majority in the directly-elected geographic constituency seats in the legislature. However, Yeung said that doesn’t mean everything will be business as usual.

“I don’t think people are happy that pan-democrat legislators simply press the veto button and simply say that this is the darkest day for HK democracy. In fact, I have seen in the past few months that legislators across [the pan-democratic camp] are willing and happy to get united and do something more than just pressing the button, like filibustering, and to get out of the seat and try to stop the bill,” he said.

Civic Party chair Audrey Eu said she’s relieved that Alvin Yeung was able to reclaim the seat that his mentor, Ronny Tong, formerly held before he resigned from the council last June. “It’s a very critical seat, and I’m very relieved that… the pan-democrats are able to keep this seat and, in a way, still maintain veto power in Legco as far as the direct-election seats are concerned,” she said.

The DAB’s Holden Chow said he was sorry he didn’t meet people’s expectations, but will continue to walk on the “right track”. Chow added that he hasn’t decided whether he will join the full Legislative Council elections in September yet.

Last updated: 2016-02-29 HKT 06:53

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