Democrat founders reluctant to stand for poll

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 5:52pm

Disillusioned members fear party's lack of commitment on internal reforms

Some founding Democratic Party members who have been lobbied to stand in the leadership election have been hesitant to take part.

Their reluctance stems from fears that party leaders are not sincere in pushing for change.

Several members of Meeting Point, which merged with the United Democrats of Hong Kong to form the Democratic Party in 1994, may run in the central committee election on December 12 to help reinvent the troubled party.

Wong Sing-chi, a former Democratic Party lawmaker, may run for vice-chairman in the party's leadership election next month.

A former Meeting Point member, Mr Wong failed to retain his seat in New Territories East in September's Legislative Council election.

He said he could share the workload of party leaders who were busy with Legco affairs if he was elected vice-chairman. Mr Wong added that he wanted to concentrate on the party's internal organisation and nurture second-tier members.

He had not made up his mind about running and the chances of him doing so were 'half and half'.

Mr Wong said he was encouraging several party members, some of whom were also former Meeting Point members, to run in the committee election. Those being lobbied were core and influential members of the Democratic Party several years ago, he said.

'We hope to reinvent our party by strengthening its internal organisation and policy research, where the party has been relatively weak in the past few years,' the former lawmaker said. 'But it is no easy task to lobby these disillusioned members to come out of their shells again because they do not have confidence in party leaders' determination for changes.'

The party, once the biggest in Legco, slipped to third place after retaining only nine seats in September. It faces a string of problems including a drop in voter support, an ageing leadership and how to position itself.

Former party vice-chairman Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, who chaired Meeting Point, left the Democrats at the end of last month. Professor Cheung, a political scientist at City University, said it would be good for some inactive members, originally from Meeting Point, to have a more active role.