Election bid to bolster grass-roots support

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2006, 12:00am

The middle-of-the-road pro-democracy party plans to field about 40 of its members in district council elections next year in an effort to strengthen its grass-roots support.

The Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood also plans to inject new blood into the polls, putting up 10 young candidates drawn from areas in the Kowloon West legislative constituency and five from other areas.

Chairman Frederick Fung Kin-kee said yesterday he expected a success rate of 80 per cent, or 32 seats, in the district polls.

The party, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, now has 24 district councillors out of its 110 members.

Mr Fung explained the party was now teaming second-tier candidates with older members under a mentor system for district work.

He admitted the party had a fight on its hands seeking extra seats and would have to take on candidates from non-democratic parties.

'There are no new seats in district councils. It's inevitable that we have to compete with existing district councillors. We will have to adjust our election strategy to avoid competing directly with democratic district councillors,' the legislator said.

'We've started negotiations with the pro-democracy camp and we haven't found any clashes yet.'

The pan-democratic camp can send up to 300 candidates to the election while it had about 200 members running in the election in 2004.

Mr Fung said the party wanted to strengthen its base and influence in Kowloon West so as to have stronger bargaining power with the government. It also wanted to gain more support in Tuen Mun and Wong Tai Sin.

About 40 members will attend a retreat in Guangdong this weekend where they will discuss the party's position and election strategy, as well as economic ties between the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong.