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Friday, July 15, 2016, 13:31

Unions to field 23 candidates in LegCo election

By Shadow Li

HONG KONG - The city’s largest labor group, the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU), announced on Thursday a plan to field seven teams with a total of 23 candidates in the Legislative Council election in September.

Lam Suk-yee, president of the HKFTU, said the party aims to win seven seats – one more than the six seats it now occupies in the current legislature.

Five of the incumbent lawmakers from the HKFTU are seeking a second term except the party's veteran unionist 69-year-old Chan Yuen-han, also known as "Sister Han". They are veteran lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing from Hong Kong Island constituency, Wong Kwok-kin representing Kowloon East, Alice Mak Mei-kuen in the New Territories West constituency, and Bill Tang Ka-piu and Kwok Wai-keung, both from the labor functional constituency.

In an attempt to win two additional seats, Tang and Kwok will run for direct election in New Territories East and Hong Kong Island, making way for two more members of the union to contend for the labor constituency. Wong Kwok-hing will join the highly contested “Super seats” – the District Council (Second) Constituency – in which five lawmakers will be selected by citywide registered voters.

The veteran unionist Chan Yuen-han – who won the most ballots in the district council election in 2011 – has decided not to run again.

The HKFTU decided not to contend in the Kowloon West geographical constituency after assessment.

Two days ahead of the commencement of the final nominations for the city’s major election before the Chief Executive election next year, political parties, traditional politicians and young people with political ambitions who emerged in recent years have all unveiled their bids for the race in September.

The heavily scrutinized election is expected to affect the election of the city’s top leader next year as several leading lawmakers from the pro-establishment camp will retire, giving the opportunity to younger people to run.

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