Legco election prospects: ProCommons to take on pro-est challenges

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The Legco IT and Accountancy seats, currently held by the pan-democratic Professional Commons, will likely become a major battlefield in the functional constituency elections.


A handful of Legco functional constituency seats are currently held by the pan-democrats. Two of them are IT lawmaker Charles Peter Mok (莫乃光) and Accountancy lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong (梁繼昌) of the Professional Commons. It is foreseeable that the duo will face fierce challenges from the pro-establishment camp in the upcoming elections.

The Innovation Technology Bureau (ITB) debates in 2015 have heated up the race in the IT sector. The pro-establishment camp has been concentrating its fire power against Mok, slamming him for failing to speak for the sector over the topic. Eric Yeung Cheun-sing (楊全盛), the prospected contender who is said to be backed by the Liaison Office, is indeed the spokesperson of Fight for Tech Bureau, a group formed to call for the establishment of the ITB and, more importantly, to urge Mok to step down. Yeung was appointed to four government committees, including the Advisory Committee on Innovation & Technology, this year and co-founded the pro-est Smart City Consortium (SCC) in March.

According to the Registration and Electoral Office’s 2016 provisional registers, the IT sector has recorded a striking 80% increase of registered voters from about 6,700 in 2012 to more than 12,000, raising the concern of possible vote-rigging activities. iProA, a professional organization of which its chairman, Witman Hung Wai-man (洪為民) and former chairperson, Winnie Tang Shuk-ming (鄧淑明), are founding board member and co-founder of the SCC respectively, was at the centre of the controversy. Mok responded by encouraging eligible people to join the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) which would secure them the right to vote. Considering the fact that previous elections tended to be close matches, the winner will likely be the one who brought more new voters in.

As for Accountancy lawmaker Kenneth Leung who is also considering a re-election, his potential opponent is Kenneth Chen Yung-ngai (陳弘毅), a partner at ZHONGLEI Specialist Advisory Services. Chen expressed interest in running about two months ago. Given that there is no significant change in the size of registered voters in the sector, it is rather unlikely that Chen can bring about an upset. However, more than two contenders had featured in each of the previous elections, so one should not draw out any uncertainty.

In the 2012 Legco elections, Mok edged to victory over Samson Tam Wai-ho (譚偉豪) by 765 votes, while Leung grabbed 7,701 votes (47%) against Nelson Lam Chi-yuen (林智遠; 38%), who was backed by former Accountancy lawmaker and current Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po (陳茂波).

 

(Edited on 18 July – Witman Hung Wai-man, a founding board member of the SCC, was addressed mistakenly as a co-founder of the organisation in the previous version. Apologies for the confusion.)