Wu Chi-wai, MH (Chinese: 胡志偉, born 18 October 1962) is a Hong Kong politician. He is the former chairman of the Democratic Party from 2016 to 2020 and a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong for Kowloon East constituency from 2012 to 2020. He was also a member of Wong Tai Sin District Council from 1999 to 2019 and member of the Urban Council from 1995 to 1999.

Wu Chi-wai
Wu in 2017
Chairman of the Democratic Party
In office
4 December 2016 – 6 December 2020
Preceded byEmily Lau
Succeeded byLo Kin-hei
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
1 October 2012 – 1 December 2020
Preceded byFred Li
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
ConstituencyKowloon East
Member of the Urban Council
In office
1 April 1995 – 31 December 1999
Preceded byCecilia Yeung
ConstituencyChoi Hung Wan and Ngau Chi Wan
Member of the Wong Tai Sin District Council
In office
1 January 2000 – 31 December 2019
Preceded byChan Chau-Faan
Succeeded byRosanda Mok
ConstituencyKing Fu
Personal details
Born (1962-10-18) 18 October 1962 (age 61)
British Hong Kong
Political partyUnited Democrats (1990–1994)
Democratic Party (1994–present)
Alma materCity University of Hong Kong
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
OccupationLegislative councillor
district councillor

Education and early career edit

Wu was born in Hong Kong in 1962 to a grassroots family who had been living in the squatter areas of Kowloon Walled City, Shun Lee Estate, and Wong Tai Sin.[1] He was educated at the Queen's College, Hong Kong and went into social work after he graduated in 1981. He furthered his education at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and obtained a master's degree in Economics in 1991. Subsequently, Wu returned to Hong Kong and worked as an assistant for Legislative Councillor Conrad Lam, who was a member of the pro-democracy party United Democrats of Hong Kong, which later transformed into the Democratic Party in 1994.[1]

Urban and District Councillor edit

In the 1994 District Board election, Wu represented the Democratic Party who ran in the Upper Wong Tai Sin Estate but was defeated by Lam Man-fai of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) by a narrow margin of 94 votes. He subsequently got elected in the 1995 Urban Council election, beating veteran Urban Councillor Cecilia Yeung in Choi Hung Wan and Ngau Chi Wan and becoming among the last members of the Urban Council before it was abolished in 1999.[1]

Wu has been member of the Wong Tai Sin District Council since he won in the King Fu constituency in the 1999 District Council elections. In the 2003 District Council elections, he grabbed in total of 4,480 votes in his King Fu constituency, only second to Leung Yiu-chung in Kwai Fong. In the 2007 elections, he was returned with the highest votes in the election and was called the "King of Votes".[2] He stepped down from the District Council in the 2019, and his party's candidate Rosanda Mok then retained the seat.[3]

Legislative Councillor and Democratic Party chairman edit

Wu first sought a Legislative Council seat in 1998, when he contested the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication functional constituency, but lost to pro-establishment candidate Timothy Fok. He was on the Democratic Party ticket in Kowloon East in 2000 and 2004, taking the second or third place behind Szeto Wah and Fred Li. In the 2008 Legislative Council election, he ran his own ticket in Kowloon East next to Fred Li. Although Li was elected, Wu received the lowest votes of 16,365 and could not win a seat.

In 2012, Wu became the Democratic Party's candidate in Kowloon East after Fred Li announced his retirement from the Legislative Council. He received 43,764 votes, 15 percent of the total vote share and was elected to the Legislative Council. He was re-elected in 2016, with an increase of votes, 50,309 votes which counted for 15 percent of the vote share.[4]

He contested in the Democratic Party chairmanship election in 2014. He entered in the second round with 104 votes against incumbent Emily Lau's 158 votes. He lost the second round to Lau by 145 to 171 votes. Wu ran again in the 2016 chairmanship election after Emily Lau retired from the Legislative Council and her party office. He was elected the party chairman uncontestedly, with 92 percent of the confidence vote.[5]

On 11 November 2020, 15 democratic lawmakers including Wu resigned en masse in protest of a decision made by the central government in Beijing the same day, authorizing the Hong Kong government to dismiss politicians who were deemed to be a threat under the national security law promulgated in the city on 30 June 2020; the initial dismissal had concerned four democrats. Wu said that the Beijing ruling was a declaration of the "official death" of the One country, two systems principle.[6]

Arrests edit

Wu was arrested on 1 November 2020, along with six other democratic councillors, in connection with a melee that broke out in the Legislative Council on 8 May 2020. On that day, Starry Lee, the incumbent chair of the House Committee of the Legislative Council, had attempted to commence a meeting of the committee after extended stalling tactics of the pan-democratic camp over the previous months.[7]

On 8 December 2020, Wu was arrested for allegedly inciting and participating in the unauthorized 1 July march that year. Seven other democrats were arrested the same day on similar charges.[8]

On 6 January 2021, Wu was among 53 members of the pro-democratic camp who were arrested under the national security law, specifically its provision regarding subversion. The group stood accused of organizing and/or participating in unofficial primary elections held by the camp in July 2020. During the arrest, police allegedly found a BNO passport belonging to Wu, a breach of bail conditions for the illegal assembly charge, which included the surrender of all travel documents. Wu was detained at a Correctional Services facility until a hearing on 8 January at West Kowloon Court.[9] At that hearing, Wu was found to have breached bail conditions, had his bail revoked, and was detained due to the magistrate seeing a substantial risk of Wu absconding.[10] On 7 May 2021, High Court judge Esther Toh granted Wu an emergency bail application to attend his father's funeral, in an appeal of the Correctional Services Department's earlier refusal.[11]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "【概觀民主黨.左右政策 1】胡志偉的「執政思維」". The Stand News. 8 July 2016.
  2. ^ "District Council Election 2007 – Election Results (Overall)". Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  3. ^ "2019 District Councils Election – Election Results (Wong Tai Sin)". Government of Hong Kong. 25 November 2019.
  4. ^ "LegCo General Election results: Kowloon East". HKSAR. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Wu Chi-wai becomes new chairman of Hong Kong's Democratic Party". SCMP. 4 December 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign after China ruling". bbc.com. 12 November 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  7. ^ Ho, Kelly (1 November 2020). "Hong Kong police arrest 7 democrats in connection with chaos during May legislative meeting". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  8. ^ Wong, Rachel (8 December 2020). "Hong Kong police arrest 8 more opposition figures, inc. 'Long Hair', Eddie Chu, Figo Chan, Wu Chi-wai". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Ex-Hong Kong Democratic Party chair Wu Chi-wai suspected to have violated bail after allegedly keeping BN(O) passport". Hong Kong Free Press. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  10. ^ Ho, Kelly (8 January 2021). "Hong Kong court revokes bail for ex-Democratic Party chair after he failed to surrender BN(O) passport". Hong Kong Free Press. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Ex-HK lawmaker Wu Chi-Wai, held under security law, gets bail for father's funeral: Report". Straits Times. Reuters. 7 May 2021. Retrieved 7 May 2021.

External links edit

Political offices
Preceded by Member of Urban Council
Representative for Choi Hung Wan and Ngau Chi Wan
Council abolished
Preceded by Member of Wong Tai Sin District Council
Representative for King Fu
Succeeded by
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by Member of Legislative Council
Representative for Kowloon East
Constituency abolished
Preceded by Convenor of pro-democracy camp
Party political offices
Preceded by Chairman of Democratic Party
Succeeded by