Albert Ho

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Albert Ho Chun-yan
何俊仁
Albert Ho 2016.jpg
Albert Ho in 2016
Chairman of the Democratic Party
In office
17 December 2006 – 10 September 2012
Preceded by Lee Wing-tat
Succeeded by Emily Lau
Chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China
Assumed office
15 December 2014
Deputy Richard Tsoi
Mak Hoi-wah
Preceded by Lee Cheuk-yan
Member of the Legislative Council
In office
11 October 1995 – 30 June 1997
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Replaced by Provisional Legislative Council
Constituency New Territories West
In office
1 July 1998 – 30 September 2012
Preceded by New parliament
Succeeded by Kwok Ka-ki
Constituency New Territories West
In office
1 October 2012 – 30 September 2016
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Roy Kwong
Constituency District Council (Second)
Personal details
Born (1951-12-01) 1 December 1951 (age 65)
Hong Kong
Political party Hong Kong Affairs Society (1985–90)
United Democrats (1990–94)
Democratic Party (since 1994)
Spouse(s) Tang Suk-yee
Alma mater University of Hong Kong
Occupation Solicitor
Albert Ho
Traditional Chinese 何俊仁

Albert Ho Chun-yan (Chinese: 何俊仁; born 1 December 1951) is a solicitor and politician in Hong Kong. He is the current chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China and former chairman of the Democratic Party from 2006 to 2012. He is a solicitor and a former member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong for District Council (Second) constituency.

In 2013, Ho grabbed international headlines after it was revealed that he had assisted Edward Snowden during the latter's stay in Hong Kong.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Ho was born in Hong Kong on 1 December 1951 in a big family with six children. His father worked in a shipping company by day and as a translator by night, along with two other jobs that he had. [2] Ho earned his Bachelor of Laws with honors from the University of Hong Kong in 1974. He went on to obtain his postgraduate Certificate in Laws the following year.[3]

He attended lectures given by Hsu Kwan-san, a Chinese historian who later became a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, whom Ho cited his political belief and Chinese national sentiment were influenced by. During his college life, he developed his liberal ideals and actively involved in student politics and campaigned for Mak Hoi-wah who ran for the Hong Kong University Students' Union against the Maoist nationalists who dominated the student union in the 1970s.

Legal career[edit]

Ho was admitted as a solicitor in July 1977 and appointed a notary public in 1988. He worked for Messrs. C.Y. Kwan & Co. as a solicitor for almost 20 years before departing to set up his own law firm, Ho, Tse, Wai & Partners. His litigation experience ranges from cases related to banking and commercial law to land law and matrimonial disputes, and also in criminal and medical negligence cases. He has done a number of human rights cases on a pro-bono basis for the pan-democracy camp.[3]

Early political career[edit]

Ho stepped into politics when he was first appointed to the Kowloon City District Board from 1982 to 1983.[3] In 1985 he co-founded the Hong Kong Affairs Society (HKAS) to participate in the electoral politics during the transition period. During his spell as the leader of the HKAS, he demanded the faster pace of democratisation in Hong Kong and safeguarding the freedom and lifestyles after the handover of Hong Kong to Mainland China after 1997. In 1989, he co-founded the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China to support the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and critical of the Beijing government's bloody crackdown. He became the third chairman of the alliance since 2014.

Legislative Councillor[edit]

In 1990, he became the founding vice chairman of the United Democrats of Hong Kong (UDHK), the first major pro-democracy party in the city and transformed into today's Democratic Party. In 1992, he ran for the by-election in New Territories West after incumbent Democrat Ng Ming-yam died of cancer. He was defeated by conservative rural leader Tang Siu-tong. He ran again in New Territories West in 1995 Legislative Council election, winning 54 percent of the popular vote.

In November 1997, Ho was nominated by the Democratic Party to stand for a seat in the National People's Congress. He was eliminated from the first round of competition after failing to obtain the minimum number of nominations from the 400-member, Beijing-appointed election conference.[3]

He stepped down as Legislative Councillor with the Democratic Party which boycotted the Provisional Legislative Council controlled by Beijing. In the first Legislative Council election of the SAR period in 1998, he won a seat in New Territories West and served for the constituency until 2012 when he changed to District Council (Second).

In 2004, Ho unsuccessfully challenged Rita Fan in the Legco presidential election.

He has announced not seeking for re-election in the coming election in 2016.

Regional and District Councillor[edit]

He ran for the Urban Council in Kowloon City West in the 1986 municipal election but was defeated by incumbent Peter Chan Chi-kwan. He ran again in the 1991 Urban Council election in Southern District but was again lost to incumbent Joseph Chan Yuet-sut of the conservative Liberal Democratic Federation of Hong Kong. He was elected to the Regional Council in the municipal elections in 1995, winning the largest number of votes in Regional Council.[3] He kept served on the council through 1997 until it was abolished by then Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa in 2000.

He had also been member of the Tuen Mun District Council for Lok Tsui since 2000 until he was defeated by pro-Beijing lawyer Junius Ho in 2015 District Council election.

Democratic Party Chairman[edit]

Between 2004 and 2006 he was the vice chairman of the Democratic Party. In December 2006, he was elected as party chairman in the leadership election, defeating Chan King-ming of the reformist faction. Under his spell, the party absorbed Emily Lau's The Frontier in 2008.

In June 2010, he led the Democratic Party delegation to the Liaison Office to negotiate the electoral reform package with the representatives of the Beijing government, for the first time since the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. The Beijing government eventually accepted the Democratic Party's modified proposal to allow five new directly elected District Council (Second) seats.[4] The compromise sparked extreme discontent among the radical democrats and created a major unrest among the pan-democracy camp. He was challenged by radical democrat legislator Albert Chan in his Lok Tsui constituency in the following 2011 District Council election and barely retained his seat.

In the 2012 Legislative Council election, Albert Ho ran in the newly created District Council (Second) constituency and was elected with 228,840 votes. However, his party continued being attacks from the radical democrats and received the worst results in history, retaining only six seats. Ho resigned as party chairman right after the election results came out and was taken over by Emily Lau as acting chairwoman.

2012 Chief Executive bid[edit]

Albert Ho announced in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong on 4 October 2011 that he would challenge the 2012 Chief Executive election which was elected by 1200-member Election Committee controlled by Beijing.[5] With the pan democrats securing an estimated 205 votes, Albert Ho took part in a pan-democrat primary election on 8 January 2012 against Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood lawmaker Frederick Fung and won.[6] Ho ran against the two pro-Beijing candidates, ex-convenor of the Executive Council Leung Chun-ying and former Chief Secretary Henry Tang. Since being widely conceived of having no chance winning the Beijing-controlled election, Ho's popularity trailed behind Leung and Tang over the election. Out of the 1,132 EC votes, Albert Ho came third with only 76. Leung Chun-ying was declared duly elected by the Returning Officer.[7]

2014 Hong Kong protests[edit]

In October 2014, during pro-democracy protests that began on 26 September, Albert Ho said he was prepared to take a bullet if demonstrations turn violent. He did not support violence in the cause of democracy, but was willing to make a "sacrifice" on behalf of young people "because the future belongs to them."[8]

Attack incident[edit]

On 20 August 2006, Ho was assaulted by three unidentified men using baseball bats and a baton[9] in a McDonald's restaurant in Central, Hong Kong, after he had attended a protest against the government's plan to adopt a Goods and Services Tax. He suffered injuries to his head, arm and face, including a broken nose.[10]

Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat claimed that the attack was related to a lawsuit Albert Ho was working on, and had nothing to do with politics. Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang condemned the attack, declaring that the attackers would be pursued to the "ends of the earth". Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee also condemned it.

Snowden incident[edit]

In 2013, Ho grabbed international headlines after it was revealed that he had assisted Edward Snowden during the latter's stay in Hong Kong.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lam, Lana (24 June 2013). "Hong Kong lawyer Albert Ho says 'middleman' urged Snowden to leave". South China Morning Post. 
  2. ^ Leung, Jan. "Albert Ho Chun-yan". HK Magazine. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Albert Ho Chun-yan". 
  4. ^ Cheers and jeers for political reform vote, South China Morning Post, Gary Cheung, Albert Wong and Fanny WY Fung, 25 June 2010
  5. ^ (traditional Chinese (HK))何俊仁擬選特首 搞全民投票 Oriental Daily. 5 October 2011.
  6. ^ Lee, Diana. (13 December 2011). Pan-democrat camp ready for next fight The Standard.
  7. ^ Kaiman, Jonathan (25 March 2012). "Thousands protest pick for Hong Kong executive post". Los Angeles Times Archived from the original on 25 March 2012.
  8. ^ Ed Flanagan & Alastair Jamieson (2 October 2014). "Hong Kong's Albert Ho: I Will Take A Bullet For Democracy ". NBC News.
  9. ^ "Baseball bat attack on MP at democracy rally". Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-21.  , The Scotsman, 20 August 2006
  10. ^ SCMP, South China Morning Post article, "Assailant thumps lawmaker and shoves banana in his face". Retrieved 26 October 2008.
  11. ^ Lam, Lana (24 June 2013). "Hong Kong lawyer Albert Ho says 'middleman' urged Snowden to leave". South China Morning Post. 
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Tang Siu-tong
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for New Territories West
1995–1997
Replaced by Provisional Legislative Council
New parliament Member of Legislative Council
Representative for New Territories West
1998–2012
Succeeded by
Kwok Ka-ki
New constituency Member of Legislative Council
Representative for District Council (Second)
2012–2016
Succeeded by
Roy Kwong
Party political offices
Preceded by
Law Chi-kwong
Vice Chairperson of Democratic Party
2002–2006
With: Lee Wing-tat (2002–2004)
Chan King-ming (2004–2006)
Succeeded by
Sin Chung-kai
Tik Chi-yuen
Preceded by
Lee Wing-tat
Chairperson of Democratic Party
2006–2012
Succeeded by
Emily Lau
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Lee Cheuk-yan
Chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China
2014–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Andrew Cheung
Chief Judge of the High Court
Hong Kong order of precedence
Member of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Lee Cheuk-yan
Member of the Legislative Council