The battle lines are drawn and the parties lined up for fierce fights in Hong Kong’s geographical constituencies where 69 teams of candidates will battle it out for 35 seats. In sharp contrast, 16 out of the 30 original functional seats will be won uncontested. Analysts caution that the sheer immensity of the candidate lists in the city-wide ballot will make it difficult for any team’s second candidate to win the election to the Legislative Council (LegCo). There are five new seats up for grabs, one in each of the five geographical constituencies, increasing the tally to 35. But even with the increase in the number of seats, the field looks distinctly overcrowded as the two-week nomination period ended on Tuesday. In comparison to this year’s 69 candidate lists for 35 seats, only 55 lists competed in the 2008 election in which there were 30 seats available.
In particular, voters in the New Territories East will find an exhaustive choice of 20 candidate lists on their ballots. Those in Kowloon West will choose from among nine. Ma Ngok, a political analyst from the Chinese University, said the surge in the number of candidates showed both the pro-establishment and opposition camps have failed to coordinate amongst themselves. As the large number of lists will decentralize the vote spread, he said the chance for any team to get a second candidate into the LegCo under the proportional mechanism will become “very low”.
Full Article: Voters to face overcrowded field|Top News|chinadaily.com.cn.