Pro-establishment camp vows to continue serving community after stunning defeat

Updated: 2019-11-26 07:58

By Kathy Zhang, Gu Mengyan and He Shusi in Hong Kong(HK Edition)

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Hong Kong's pro-establishment camp pledged to continue serving the community and to proactively improve people's livelihoods after suffering a massive setback in local elections.

The promise follows the opposition camp's victory in grabbing majority control of district-level affairs in the city's District Council elections on Sunday.

Starry Lee Wai-king, chairperson of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong - the city's largest political party - said on Monday she understood residents' discontent with the status quo and their concerns after more than five months of street violence.

 Pro-establishment camp vows to continue serving community after stunning defeat

Members of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong take a deep bow at a news conference on Monday by way of expressing their gratitude and offering apologies to supporters a day after their massive setback in the District Council Election. China Daily

Lee acknowledged defeat and apologized to the party's supporters, as 160 of the DAB candidates lost their races, while only 21, including her, were elected.

She vowed that the DAB will reflect on the failure and better respond to the local communities, as well as continue to improve people's livelihoods.

The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong - another major party of the pro-establishment camp -won only three of the 452 seats during this election.

On Monday, Lo Wai-kwok, alliance chairman, expressed disappointment with the outcome, saying the unsatisfying results were a warning about deficiencies in the government's performance.

Lo said he hopes the government can seriously reflect (on its deficiencies) and ensure a fair and safe legislative election next year. He also vows that the party will thoroughly review its own past efforts.

'Black terror' key factor

"Black terror" and threats spread and imposed by radicals during the months-long social unrest is one of reasons that the party had a worrying situation in the election, Lo said, referring to the violence and vandalism meted out by mostly black-clad anti-government protesters.

Some candidates, volunteers and supporters were threatened; some councilors' offices were vandalized before the election, with some having been torched with gasoline bombs.

"We will stand firm against violence, safeguard the community's peace and safety, and make contributions to Hong Kong," Lo said.

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, which held 30 seats in the District Council before the election, won only five seats.

The results showed that candidates' records of long service at community levels counted little in the election, FTU president Stanley Ng Chau-pei said.

"Despite the FTU's solid foundation in serving the community at the grassroots level, we still have failed to turn the tide," Ng told a news briefing after the election. "We will reflect deeply on our failure and improve our work in future." He added that political demands had overridden livelihood issues.

Meanwhile, Ng thinks that the election was held in an "extremely unfair and disorderly environment", which saw repeated violent attacks against FTU candidates.

Nearly 30 of the FTU's training centers, medical clinics and councilors' offices were vandalized. Many candidates' posters were torn down and destroyed.

The special administrative region government must introduce concrete measures to mend the rift, and restore the city's law and order after the election, said Ng, who is also a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature. "Or everyone in Hong Kong will be the loser," Ng said.

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Pro-establishment camp vows to continue serving community after stunning defeat

(HK Edition 11/26/2019 page4)