Donald Tsang

Democratic leader vows to defend autonomy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 12:00am

Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat yesterday pledged to defend Hong Kong's autonomy and fight for full democracy as he unveiled his policy platform for the July 10 chief executive election.

Copies of the 10-point platform were sent to all 800 members of the Election Committee. They were asked to support Mr Lee, who faces an uphill battle against likely frontrunner, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

Mr Lee said his platform offered the public clear choices, while Mr Tsang had yet to even officially declare his candidacy.

'At least the Democratic Party has a clear blueprint on governance to consult the public,' he said.

However, he said he was finding it difficult to get the 100 nominations from Election Committee members that are required to stand in the race.

Among other pledges, Mr Lee promised to defend Hong Kong's autonomy and lobby for the city's interests in Beijing.

He would also fight for universal suffrage to be introduced by 2007 and establish a truly accountable government.

On the economic front, Mr Lee said Hong Kong would continue to maintain a simple, low-tax business environment while increasing its competitiveness.

He said the plight of workers and the underprivileged would be addressed, and issues such as the environment, education, medical services and sexual equality would be high on his agenda.

Mr Lee said he had received invitations from two prominent Election Committee groups to discuss his platform. However, he does not expect to significantly improve his slim chance of receiving the required nominations.

Mr Lee will formally announce his platform after gathering additional views from supporters and academics over the weekend.

A series of consultation sessions will be organised by the Democratic Party in coming weeks.