People Power rejects election strategy criticism

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2011, 12:00am


The radical group People Power has rejected criticism that its election strategy will allow a record number of pro-government candidates to win seats without a fight in the upcoming district council elections.

The Democratic Party and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL) - People Power's key targets - have expressed their anger that it is running against the Democrats in 38 seats and against ADPL candidates in nine seats.

People Power blamed the mainstream parties for the situation, in which 73 of the 412 seats will be uncontested in the November 6 elections.

People Power said the other pan-democrats' decision not to contest 30 constituencies in which they had previously fielded candidates would allow 73 seats to fall automatically to their rivals.

People Power lawmaker Wong Yuk-man said those parties were handing the seats over to the pro-government parties. 'If we could field 300 candidates, we would attack all uncontested constituencies. But it is the major pan-democratic parties who have chosen not to contest 30 constituencies where they ran in the 2007 district council election.'

Wong broke from the League of Social Democrats and formed People Power around six months ago.

Challenging the Democrats and ADPL was People Power's aim, and he did not regard this as infighting, Wong said.

'Attacking the Democrats and ADPL is the core aim of our movement - to penalise their compromise when they supported the electoral reforms in June last year,' he said.

Wong was referring to the Democratic Party's decision last year to break ranks with fellow pan-democrats when it endorsed the government's electoral reforms.

'We will pull at least eight or 10 'big brothers' from those two parties out of their seats,' he said.

Democratic Party vice-chairman Sin Chung-kai dismissed Wong's claims, saying the party would have more battles with the pro-government parties than it did in the 2007 district poll.

'In 2007 we fielded 107 candidates, and over 50 competed against the [pro-government Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong]. But this year, against major pro-government parties alone, we are already sending 92 candidates out of 132 in total.'

He meant that while the Democrats have quit some races, they are up against pro-government candidates in other constituencies.