Veteran politicians and voters have bitterly criticized several opposition candidates, who stopped campaigning in Sunday’s Legislative Council elections just before polling day in the hope of passing votes to their allies, as having committed a serious breach of integrity.
On Friday night, two opposition candidates from the District Council (Second) constituency, or “super seats”, said they would stop campaigning because of their low poll ratings in the hope of benefiting Roy Kwong Chun-yu, a candidate from the Democratic Party. There were also opposition candidates pulling out from the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon East constituencies.
On Saturday, another candidate also withdrew from the “super seats” constituency, leaving only six tickets (three each from both political camps) to compete for the five seats at stake. The sudden “collective withdrawals” might enable the “pan-democratic” camp to secure three seats, with candidate Holden Chow Ho-ding of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) looking to be the likely victim.
Legislative Council President Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, who is also founding chairman of the DAB, called the withdrawals a violation of the spirit of democracy.
“This is grossly inappropriate. As long as you have secured nominations by your supporters, you should try your best in the election to repay your supporters,” he said.
New People’s Party Chairperson Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, who is a candidate in the Hong Kong Island constituency, said those who pulled out had badly disappointed their supporters and volunteers.
Christopher Chung Shu-kun, a DAB candidate running in the Hong Kong Island constituency, described the opposition candidates as “soldiers taking French leave” who had violated their promises to their constituents.
A voter in a New Territories constituency said the candidates’ act was “serious injustice” or “price-rigging” in competition email@example.com