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“Lesser evil” refers to supporting a less undesirable pro-establishment candidate in the small-circle Chief Executive election. Among the four candidates, former Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah seems to take a milder stance on politically controversial issues such as the enactment of Article 23 and the political reform than Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Regina Ip Lau Shuk-yee. He is also more popular among the public. Some democrats believe they should support him as he has a bigger chance of winning than the more liberal candidate, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing.

However, some democrats believe that “lesser evil” is still evil, and insist on upholding the basic principles of the democratic camp, which includes opposing the “831 decision” of the NPC Standing Committee on the election framework and Article 23. These are still included in John Tsang’s political platform. League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Raphael Wong Ho-Ming believes supporting Tsang violates the democrats’ principles and consensus.

“The democratic camp should not support and endorse this small-circle election,” Wong said.

Wong supported legislator Leung Kwok-hung who said he would run as the pro-democracy candidate  if he managed to get 38,000 civil nominations, but withdrew when it became clear he would not be able to hit the mark in time.