'Don't rely solely on polls for Legco decision' - RTHK
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'Don't rely solely on polls for Legco decision'

2020-08-23 HKT 09:05
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  • Accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung says pro-democracy legislators can't just rely on polls to give them a mandate to continue in Legco. Photo: RTHK
    Accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung says pro-democracy legislators can't just rely on polls to give them a mandate to continue in Legco. Photo: RTHK
Accountancy sector lawmaker Kenneth Leung on Sunday said that polling results alone should not determine whether pro-democracy legislators stay on in an extended session of the Legislative Council.

“To be or not be is still a political decision,” he said on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong.

“Acting in accordance with a polling result will not mitigate a bad decision,” Leung said. “A bad decision will cost the goodwill, support and the seat of a politician, a price which every politician should be ready to pay.”

The term of the current Legco has been extended by at least a year, after Chief Executive Carrie Lam decided to postpone elections set for September 6, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been a split in opinion within the pro-democracy camp as to whether their incumbent legislators should stay on however, with some of those advocating a boycott saying the extended term was illegitimate, and others suggesting lawmakers would be operating without a mandate.

Leung countered that “illegitimate acts had been taking place everywhere inside the legislature”.

“If the extended term were illegitimate, so would be the 2021 election, the 2025 election and beyond – were it not for the extension of the current term, no Legislative Council elections will be taking place in those years,” he said.

“Along this reasoning, all succeeding elections will be tainted with illegitimacy. Are we going to boycott all future elections, or should we all plunge in and continue to fight for a good fight?”

The legislature’s two biggest opposition parties, the Democratic Party and the Civic Party, both said on Thursday that they were inclined to stay, but would let a public poll decide whether they should go.

Leung said he had also conducted a “fairly representative poll” last week of his constituents. He said 52 percent of respondents supported the idea of him staying on, while 42 percent were against it. Six percent of respondents were neutral.

“This is a close result,” Leung said. “I will take this poll as an important reference, as I need some good analyses, strategic thinking and foresight to come to a final decision.”

Leung was one of four incumbent legislators who were barred from seeking re-election in the 2020 Legco election before it was postponed.