ADPL fails to agree on merger
A moderate pan-democratic group has failed to reach a consensus among its members on a merger with the Democratic Party.
Now it plans to concentrate its efforts on district council elections scheduled for November.
The Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL) polled its 30 active members on whether they should merge with the Democratic Party, the largest in the pan-democratic camp.
But they were unable to reach an agreement, said vice-chairman Tam Kwok-kiu.
'It's natural for the 30 active members to hold different views,' Tam said. 'We will now focus on the forthcoming district council elections.'
He said it was 'technically not possible' to see a merger between the ADPL and other pan-democratic groups this year.
The group, with a total of about 100 members and one lawmaker, faces a tough battle in the district council elections.
A big reason is the formation of a new party, tentatively named the 'Labour Party', being planned by former social welfare sector lawmaker Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung and four serving pan-democratic legislators.
'The ADPL is facing an uncertain political fate if it stays put,' said political scientist Dr Ma Ngok. 'When the Labour Party is launched, the ADPL would face intense competition in winning support from low income people.'
Ma, associate professor with the Chinese University's department of government and public administration, also said the ADPL might lose seats in November to government-friendly parties such as the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
The number of district councillors belonging to the ADPL dropped to 17 from 25 following a major setback in the 2007 district council elections.
The ADPL, founded in 1986, currently has 16 district councillors, after one withdrew last year.