SCMP Monday, September 11, 2000


Fan romps home with Election Committee win

RAFIQ LATTA and ELLEN CHAN

Updated at 5.25am:
The Election Committee returned a reduced number of candidates to the Legislative Council in the early hours of Monday morning, with two lawmakers losing their places as a result.
The president of the last Legislative Council, Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, together with Lau Hon-chuen of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance and Yeung Yiu-chung of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong were the biggest winners.
A ''much gratified'' Ms Fan, who was far ahead of her rivals with 651 out of the possible 800 votes, said: ''If I get support from the members, I am willing to be [Legco] president again.''
The DAB's Mr Yeung called for greater democracy to come soon to the SAR.
''Personally, I think the sooner the better, but it depends on whether the Hong Kong people can accept it,'' he said.
Mr Lau also called for greater transparency and democracy, but told SCMP.com it would take time.
''One man, one vote is the ultimate aim ... but there is a process. England took centuries to democratise. Of course I am not suggesting that the SAR should, but it is less than five years since the handover.'' Legislators Ma Fung-kwok and Ho Sai-chu of the Liberal Party both failed to make the cut as the number of legislators selected by the 800-member Election Committee fell from 10 in 1998 to six this year.
Mr Ma attributed his loss to the similarity among candidates and said the margin of his defeat was ''about equal to the number of spoiled ballots''. He said it would take time to decide where his future lay, but he felt sure that he would continue to ''make a contribution to politics''.
Professor Joseph Cheng, Associate Professor of Political Science at City University said: ''The only slight surprise was that Shiu Sin-por didn't make it.
"It was thought that he had high-level support from Beijing. This shows that even some figures in the pro-Beijing camp are personally unpopular.''