Multiple controversies arise on eve of Hong Kong legislative election
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016
On Saturday, as the citizens ofprepared to vote in Sunday's , multiple controversies broke out concerning different candidates and the fairness of the election overall. Following suspensions on Friday, another candidate, Kwan Wing-yip of the , suspended his campaign; the head of the responded to questions about the logistics of the ballots; a report surfaced concerning Chinese-funded companies calling their Hong Kong employees to vote for candidates; and allegations were made that party has ties with .
After sixcandidates suspended their campaigns on Friday, another candidate from the camp, Kwan Wing-yip of the functional constituency, announced the suspension of his campaign. He stated that after other pan-democrats suspended their campaigns aiming to boost other pan-democratic candidates, members of his party experienced great pressure regarding the suspension of his candidacy. He also said it was a "difficult decision," and the "darkest day" in his political life.
The head of the, Barnabus Fung Wah, responded to reports about the logistics of the ballot papers, saying that allowing the director of each polling station to take the ballot papers home and bring them to the polling stations on election day is more sound than trusting couriers. He also addressed concerns by the , such as pro-Beijing news outlet and pro-Beijing party , accusing the pan-democratic candidates' campaign suspensions of undermining democracy and proposing to report the incidents to the . Fung Wah addressed them by saying that because the candidates can't drop out from the ballot paper after the nomination period by law, the candidates suspending their campaigns would not affect the election's fairness.
Early Saturday morning, reported the Hong Kong employees of Chinese-funded companies were being asked to vote for pro-Beijing candidates in the election. The companies include and , who according to the report showed a list of pro-Beijing candidates to vote for, and for Bank of China the employees were asked to call their managers after they have cast their votes. When asked by Reuters about the matter, Bank of China responded that it "supports and respects" the right of its employees to vote, while no response was immediately forthcoming from China Resources Land.
Meanwhile, after claiming Hong Kong'sand the Chinese central government's encouraged Hong Kong independence for the past few days, reported the new party has ties with figure . Youngspiration responded by stating its members do not know Lau Nai-keung personally or the pro-Beijing organisation "Hong Kong Community Network" mentioned in Sing Pao's article, and challenged the newspaper to "present its evidence" regarding the group's alleged ties to Beijing, saying accusing them without evidence "violates media ethics."
candidate said he received confirmation from the (ICAC) that they were investigating pro-establishment Justice Alliance Party candidate for bribery. The pro-establishment group "Alliance in Support of Our Police Force" held a dinner on August 31, and it was reported Leticia Lee took part on stage during the lucky draw, and encouraged its members to vote for herself.
Before Saturday, the election was already controversial, with thebarring candidates from running, and candidate Ken Chow Wing-kan of the constituency unexpectedly suspending his campaign due to unspecified "threats." The , the sixth since the former British colony's to China, was held on Sunday, electing 70 legislators to the .
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