‘Politicians will have to get used to competition’

Lau Siu-kai, a vice-president of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said on Sunday all politicians would have to face competition to stay in office in future.

Speaking on a TV programme, Lau said he believes many more patriots would be more willing to join elections and take part in the city’s governance partly because they would face less smearing from the opposition camp under the revamped electoral system.

The nomination period for December’s Legco polls ended last Friday with 154 candidates having submitted nominations, vying for a total of 90 seats in the legislature.

Lau said competition in all sectors in the polls this time shows that politicians could not assume that in future they would be re-elected if they did not do their work properly, adding that they would be accountable to both their voters and the central government.

He said he believes in future, the central government would scrutinise and assess all lawmakers’ performances to make sure they could meet higher standards than in the past, and politicians would have to show that they are capable of governing Hong Kong.

Lau also believes labels such as “the pro-establishment camp”, “the opposition camp” or “the pan-democratic camp” will gradually lose their meanings in Hong Kong’s political context.

He said all Legco candidates who passed the screening of the government’s vetting committee should be seen as patriots, and in the long term, everyone will identify themselves as patriots, though some of them would be more progressive than others.