Initial thoughts on the fight for democracy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 March, 2006, 12:00am

With its distinctive coloured emblem and catchphrase 'the civic spirit', the Civic Party aspires to enjoy broad support.

The emblem uses green, white and violet - the colours employed in the fight for women's voting rights in Britain. The party also hopes the colours will become the symbol for the prolonged battle for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

The party initials 'C' and 'P' stretch out like two arms, one reaching for higher goals and the other embracing the disadvantaged, party legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee said.

The party had thought of a longer name - the 'party for social justice and democracy' - but when this is abbreviated in Chinese, its meaning becomes 'civic party'.

Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said: 'Indeed, the word 'civic' is the essence of our goal. We want to build a civic society.'

No government officials were at the 21/2-hour ceremony at the Jockey Club Environmental Building in Kowloon Tong.

In an apparent attempt to dilute the impression of being an Article 45 party, three of the four prominent barrister lawmakers from that group have steered clear of the top positions, giving way to academics, activists from non-governmental organisations and other legislators.

Dozens of reporters flocked to the launch, seeking to unearth unconventional figures among the party's 100-plus members.

But they found only some familiar faces, including retired Independent Commission Against Corruption senior officer Stephen Char Shik-ngor.

The full list of founding members remains a secret, as does the source of party funding. But a three-page list of donation rules will be made available on the party's website.