Labour Party (Hong Kong)
|Founded||18 December 2011|
|Headquarters||19/F, Wing Wong
557-559 Nathan Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
|Regional affiliation||Pro-democracy camp|
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|Politics and government
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The Labour Party (Chinese: 工黨) is a centre-left social democratic political party in Hong Kong established in 2011. Chaired by Suzanne Wu, it currently holds one seat in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and three seats in the District Councils.
The party was founded in 2011 by three veteran pro-democracy legislators to consolidate the centre-left pro-labour pro-democracy voices in the legislature. Led by Lee Cheuk-yan, the long-time general secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), the party won four seats in the 2012 Legislative Council election and received about six per cent of the popular votes, making it the third largest political party in the pro-democracy camp and sixth largest in the legislature.
It received a big loss in the 2016 election in which two veterans Lee Cheuk-yan and Cyd Ho lost in the direct election, which left the party only one seat in the legislature, occupied by Fernando Cheung in New Territories East.
The Labour Party positions itself as a social democratic party with the principles of "Democracy, Justice, Sustainability and Solidarity". It also demands universal suffrage, legislation of competition law and maximum weekly working hours, rehabilitate the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and against the legislation of Article 23.
The idea of establishing a pro-labour party first emerged in the 1990s, when four pro-labour pro-democracy legislators, Lau Chin-shek and Lee Cheuk-yan from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU), Leung Yiu-chung from the Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre (NWSC) and Tsang Kin-shing from the Democratic Party set up a joint office in preparation of the labour party, but the idea did not realise at last.
In early 2011, Lee Cheuk-yan expressed interest in forming a new labour party, and discussed the details with legislators Leung Yiu-chung, Cheung Kwok-che from the Hong Kong Social Workers' General Union (SWGU), Cyd Ho Sau-lan from the Civic Act-up and Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, an ex-Civic Party politician. Cheung was the first to advocate the formation of a labour party for the labour rights, new immigrants, ethnic minorities and environmental issues in the coming 2012 Legislative Council election.
The Labour Party was officially founded on 18 December 2011. The New World First Bus Company Staff Union, the K.M.B. Staff Union and the Hong Kong Buildings Management And Security Workers General Union under the CTU and Civic Act-up joined the party as affiliated groups. The NWSC vetoed the motion of joining the Labour Party. 20-strong Executive Committee was elected with CTU General Secretary Lee Cheuk-yan was elected uncontestedly by 131 founding members, while Cyd Ho, Fernando Cheung and Yeung Ho-yan became the Vice-Chairmen, Cheung Kwok-che the Senate Chairman and Tam Chun-yin the General Secretary.
The party filled three lists in the geographical constituency election in the 2012 Legislative Council elections, the incumbent Lee Cheuk-yan and Cyd Ho ran in New Territories West and Hong Kong Island and former legislator Fernando Cheung ran in New Territories East. The party secured four seats with all the lists were elected and Cheung Kwok-che returned through the Social Welfare functional constituency.
The party gained its first seat in the district level in the San Fu by-election in 2015. In the 2015 District Council election, the party filled in 12 candidates and 3 of them were elected. On 13 December 2015, the Labour chairman Lee Cheuk-yan stepped down and three candidates, Kwok Wing-kin, Cheng Sze-lut and Suzanne Wu Shui-shan ran for the chairmanship. Suzanne Wu of the Association for the Advancement of Feminism won the election in the end and became the new chairwoman.
The Labour suffered a major defeat In the 2016 Legislative Council election by losing two veteran legislators Lee Cheuk-yan and Cyd Ho. With the retiring Social Welfare legislator Cheung Kwok-che, the party dropped their seats in the legislature from four to only one. Chairwoman Suzanne Wu, who was running in Kowloon East and pulled out from the race in the last days resigned for the election results.
Performance in elections
Legislative Council elections
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District Council elections
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Vice Chairmen (External Affairs)
- Cheng Sze-lut, 2011–2015
- Lee Cheuk-yan, 2015–present
Vice Chairmen (Party Affairs)
- Tam Chun-yin, 2011–2015
- Chiu Shi-shun, 2015–present
Vice Chairmen (Policy)
- Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, 2011–2015
- Kwok Wing-kin, 2015–present
- Kwok Wing-kin, 2011–2015
- Tam Chun-yin, 2015–present