Long Hair has announced that he will run for this year’s chief executive election. However, he has also said he will only make a bid for the role if he gets more than 38,000 votes in an online poll. The poll, or civil referendum, is run by the University of Hong Kong. It gives Hongkongers a say in who gets to run in the election.
Anyone who can secure 37,790 votes from the public from the online poll – one per cent of the city’s registered voters – from February 7 to 22 will be regarded as a civil candidate. That means he will have the approval of the public but he won’t be on the official ballot. Anyone wants to become an official candidate needs at least 150 votes from the Election Committee to qualify. The election itself will take place on March 26, when 1,194 Election Committee members will choose the city’s next leader to take over from current chief executive Leung Chun-ying.
The League of Social Democrats lawmaker, in a press conference at Legislative Council this morning,explained his decision and said that: “I’m not the best candidate from the pro-democracy camp. But none of the pan-democrats are running, so I’ve decided to run for the top job. I hope that my candidacy can offer another choice for the pro-democracy camp in the Election Committee.”
The radical activist has also vowed to fight for civic nomination and to oppose the “831 decision” – the stringent framework on political reform laid down by the National People’s Congress standing committee on August 31, 2014.
Leung insisted that the pan-democrats, who hold 326 votes, should not elect anyone from the four candidates already running. The current candidates are former Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, former Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.
“None of them represent the beliefs of the pro-democracy camp,” Leung said. “But if I don’t secure more than 38,000 by February 22, I will drop out of the race.
“This year’s chief executive election has set off alarm bells. I haven’t heard of any pan-democrats who would vote for pro-establishment candidates in the previous elections.”
Late last year, Leung found himself caught up in the oath-taking storm when the government lodged a bid to disqualify him and three other lawmakers from the Legislative Council.
As of 3pm today, Tsang has received 4,837 votes, followed by Leung with 1,921 votes and Woo with 1,384. The other two candidates, Lam and Ip, have collected 59 and 53 votes respectively.
Nominations for the chief executive position officially open on February 14.