Pan-democrats bicker over seats

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 February, 2009, 12:00am

Pan-democrats yesterday accused each other of betraying the democratic cause in a row over who should contest which seats in the district council elections of 2011.

Albert Chan Wai-yip, of the League of Social Democrats, said pan-democrats who tried to prevent others within the camp from competing against their candidate for a seat had vested interests.

'This is just the big guys bullying the small kids ... We want to put out between 60 and 80 candidates. If you don't let us into any district, where can we go?' he said, accusing the established pan-democrats of using an unfair system that prevented the league from developing.

In the past, parties and groups in the pan-democratic camp have co-ordinated their candidate lists for council seats to minimise intra-party competition and boost the chances of pan-democratic candidates.

An incumbent district councillor would usually be given the opportunity to contest the seat again without competition from within the camp.

However, Frederick Fung Kin-kee, of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL), complained on Tuesday about the 2007 elections, in which two of his members lost narrowly because not all parties complied with the deal.

Mr Fung said if parties did not respect the principle of not challenging incumbents, he would 'withdraw'.

But Mr Chan said Mr Fung was 'just looking for an excuse to withdraw from the pan-democrats'.

'You will see more withdraw from the camp these two years,' he said, referring to the possibility that pan-democrats would come under pressure to take a government line over constitutional reform.

Mr Chan said other pan-democrats should be allowed to compete if an incumbent was underperforming.

But Mr Fung said: 'Those councillors were voted in by the people. What right does anyone else have to say they performed poorly?'