Democrats vote in new blood

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 December, 2010, 12:00am

The Democratic Party may have just lost 30 members that disagreed with the party's stance on constitutional reform and wanted a more radical approach, but it has simultaneously been injected with new blood.

In the recent election of its 30-strong central committee, eight members under the age of 40 were voted in. The youngest of these hopefuls is 24 and three more are still in their 20s.

While most of those who quit, including seven district councillors, serve in the New Territories East, the new blood elected to the central committee are looking to strengthen the party's work in the region.

Mok Siu-lun, a central committee member and chairman of the Young Democrats, said: 'Comparing the five electoral constituencies, the party has the most number of community officers in NT East, so our district work foundation was not shaken at all. We are writing up a work plan for the district.'

The Young Democrats was set up last month. Registered separately from the party, it has a high degree of autonomy and can recruit non-Democrats; its members include district councillors and professionals.

Party lawmakers Emily Lau Wai-hing and Wong Sing-chi have formed a joint district office in Tai Po. Wong said they would seek to rejuvenate the Democrats' image and support base. 'We will enhance exchanges with other social groups and make use of the new media to keep the party abreast of the times.'

He said they would hold special activities targeted at youths.

'We have held a war game with the Christian Zheng Sheng College. We will also co-host an online programme to address liberal studies topics.'

The radical faction that left the party accused democratic grandees of a 'Big Brother culture' - overconcentrated power at the top - but Mok said the Young Democrats would bridge the communication between the young and the elders.

'We will listen to the members doing frontier district work and convey their demands and concerns to the central committee.'