SCMP Tuesday, September 12, 2000


LEGCO ELECTIONS

Emily Lau cries foul over 'unfair tactics'

NEW TERRITORIES EAST by NO KWAI-YAN

The Democrats have been accused of using underhanded tactics to woo votes away from Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier in New Territories East.
Ms Lau said she had filed a complaint with Electoral Affairs Commission chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing.
Although she managed to retain her seat, the remaining four went to Lau Kong-wah, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, non-affiliated Andrew Wong Wang-fat, and Democrats Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and Wong Sing-chi.
Ms Lau accused the Democrat winners of telling voters in leaflets that she was certain to win and they should shift their votes to other candidates from the democratic camp.
"Everyone can stand for elections. The most important thing is to abide by the rules of the game. I believe such candidates will be unable to face the public," Ms Lau said. "It is not the end of the world, but they have gone too far if they play such tactics while calling themselves the democratic camp."
The Frontier's ticket, headed by Ms Lau and featuring first-time candidate Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, was badly hit, with the number of votes plunging from 101,811 in 1998 to 63,541.
April 5th Action Group member Leung Kwok-hung, better known as "Long Hair", secured 18,235 votes, but missed the final seat by about 7,000.
The fall in support for The Frontier was seen as the end of the coat-tail effect for Ms Lau's running mates. Ms Lau's votes in 1998 secured a seat for her running mate, Cyd Ho Sau-lan.
A disappointed Ms Lau attributed the drop in support to keen competition among candidates from the democratic camp. Without naming them, she accused the Democrats of targeting The Frontier.
But Mr Cheng offered Ms Lau an olive branch: "I want to tell Ms Lau our enemy is the pro-Beijing forces rather than the democratic camp. What we did was only aimed at winning as many seats as possible for the democratic camp."
Mr Wong denied winning a seat through dirty tactics. "The number of votes we've got is more or less the same as that of the last election. I can't see we have gained any votes [from Ms Lau]," he said.
Mr Leung urged the underprivileged in society to have confidence in themselves. He said he was proud of the support he had won, which proved his ideals were recognised.