25 May 1998
The Democratic Party Commends Hong Kong People for Voting; Pledges
to Use Mandate to Fight for Full Democracy
Today Democratic Party legislators led by Chairman Martin Lee celebrated
Hong Kong's highest ever electoral turnout of 53.29% and their own popular
vote victory, despite great odds. Hong Kong voters defied torrential rain
and manipulated election laws to make their wishes known to Hong Kong's
appointed leader, C.H.Tung, China and the world.
The first election in Hong Kong as part of China resulted in a mandate
for pro-democracy candidates of over 60% of the popular vote. However,
as Martin Lee has long predicted, because of manipulated electoral laws,
democrats will occupy barely a third of the seats in the Hong Kong legislature.
The Democratic Party won 13 seats in total, and with their democratic
allies, will occupy only 20 of 60 seats in the Legislative Council.
The Democrats said that the turnout of nearly 1.5 million Hong Kong
voters -- an all time high -- signified the indomitable desire of HK people
for full democracy and that the turnout "put a stake through the heart
of the cliche that 'Hong Kong people do not want democracy -- they just
want to make money.'"
Tonight, the Democrats celebrated their triumph with cake, champagne
and by asserting that the election results put Hong Kong Chief Executive
C.H. Tung and China on notice that HK people are determined to fully elect
their legislature in the year 2000.
Democratic Party Chairman Martin Lee commented:
"This is a phenomenal affirmation of the democratic process. There
could be no clearer message from Hong Kong people. They have defied terrible
weather conditions, terrible election laws and conventional wisdom to make
their democratic aspirations known.
The world has always underestimated Hong Kong people. Now, they have
spoken with one voice, to say that we in Hong Kong want to choose our own
leaders through democratic elections. They have said, 'We are Chinese
and we want democracy.' And, clearly, this democratic triumph under Chinese
rule has broader implications for all of China's 1.2 billion people.
Our party has won close to half of the popular vote, but because the
process is weighted in favour of pro-Beijing parties, we will have a minority
in the legislature. Our votes will be strongly outnumbered by those who
did not dare stand for genuine election and who are manifestly not representative
of Hong Kong people.
These elections have confirmed that the trend toward more open, democratic
and accountable societies across Asia is unstoppable. We have been fighting
for many years for this goal and we intend to use our clear mandate from
Hong Kong people to push for full democracy in Hong Kong -- both for the
Legislative Council and for the post of Chief Executive. We are profoundly
grateful to Hong Kong people for giving us this opportunity."