Democrats strike back at DAB

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 November, 2007, 12:00am

The Democratic Party yesterday stepped up a counter-attack against its political arch-rival by filing complaints against what it termed the distortion of remarks by founding chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming about the Beijing Olympics.

The complaints were filed with the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Registration and Electoral Office.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong began distributing leaflets a few days ago criticising Mr Lee for inviting US President George W. Bush to use the Beijing Olympics to press China on human rights issues in an article published in The Wall Street Journal.

The Democratic Party complained the DAB leaflets distort the truth and might contravene election laws. Some leaflets allegedly criticised Mr Lee for 'supporting a boycott of the Olympics'.

The Democratic Party recently discovered the leaflets, with some bearing the names of DAB district council candidates, in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Sheung Shui.

In his article, published on October 17, Mr Lee noted the Olympics represent an opportunity for 'direct engagement' with China by the international community, but he did not call for a boycott of the Games over human rights concerns, as alleged by some Beijing-friendly politicians.

Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, who lodged the complaints yesterday, said he was worried that distribution of the leaflets would unfairly affect the outcome of district council elections on November 18.

'The party has issued a statement to officially declare that we support the Olympic Games, yet what's written on the leaflets is inaccurate,' Mr Ho said. 'We worry this may affect the fairness of the elections.'

He said the party was also considering suing for defamation. Whether it would be a case brought against the DAB or somebody in particular was still under consideration.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said: 'We feel that what we've done is not a problem.' He said that whether his party members continued to distribute the leaflets would be left up to district branches to decide.