11 September 2000

The Democrats gain an extra geographical seat in the second Legislative Council

In the aftermath of the Legislative Council 2000 Election on 10 September 2000, the Democratic Party reports a net gain of one geographical seat, from 8 to 9. As for the functional constituencies, the Party puts out 3 incumbent candidates to contend in 3 functional constituency seats and all were re-elected with majority support. As the Party did not put out a candidate for the functional constituency of the Health Services, vacated by a Party member, Michael Ho, the total number of Democratic seats in the second Legislative Council remains 12.

Martin Lee, the Chairman of the Democratic Party, offers his observations about the election:

"The Party is happy to report a net gain in geographical seat. However, our strategy to beat the system by having three Party heavyweights contending in the New Territories West in three different tickets, 2 of them incumbents, has yielded bittersweet results. While we are all excited by Mr. Albert Chan's gaining one seat, we are regretful of the narrow-margin loss of one of our incumbent candidates, Mr. LEE Wingtat.

In the meantime, the Democratic Party is extremely concerned about the low turnout rate. Compared to the first Legislative Council election in 1998, the overall turnout rate dropped almost 20%, or 10 percentage points, from 53% to 43%, and the Democratic Party recognizes a decrease in the vote share. The mud slinging in the last days of the election has further fueled the cynicism in Hong Kong's electorate, which has already been on the rise with the recognition of the very limited power of the Legislative Council and the very little respect the Legislative Council received from the executive authorities. Many of our Party supporters have stayed home because they feel inefficacious under the current political system that stacks the deck against the Democrats.

That is not to say, however, that the Party could not have done better. The Party acknowledges that our connection with the people is loosening up. Therefore, we are planning for an aggressive "Listen to the People" campaign. We will be going to the districts so that the people can come to us and tell us directly what they think with the purpose of reinforcing our link with the people."

Media contact: Winnie Kwok 9216-3454


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