Democratic Party's Helena Wong urges overhaul of leadership role

Helena Wong seen as possible new chairmanof struggling Democratic Party but says it needs to create new post to help share the load

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2012, 5:42am

One of the hot picks to lead the Democratic Party is calling for the chairman's role to be split into two jobs.

Helena Wong Pik-wan suggests the party creates a second leadership role to share responsibility with the chairman.

Wong, a new legislator, hinted that she would prefer to concentrate on her legislature work, rather than leading the party - unless those duties were reorganised.

Former chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan stepped down following the party's poor showing in last month's Legco election, when it lost two seats and suffered a 43 per cent plunge in support. Vice-chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing is now the acting chairwoman.

Replying to rumours she might succeed Ho, Wong said: "I am honoured by this kind of talk, but there are a lot of things to think about as I am a new member in Legco. My workload is already quite heavy.

"I am a perfectionist, which means I have high expectations about my own performance. I do not want to fail myself and other's expectations by not doing well."

The Democratic Party is looking at reform after its disappointing election performance, and members agree it needs a younger person at the helm.

Wong, who joined the party a few years ago, is seen by many members as a promising "second ladder" who could lead such reform. The chairman is traditionally a legislator. If elected in December, Wong would be the first woman to chair the Democrats.

Wong pointed out that other parties shared leadership roles. "Maybe we can make reference to how the Civic Party works. They have a chairman who takes care of the heavy, daily administrative work and a party leader who is a legislator and acts as party spokesperson.

"I am not an ideal person for handling internal party matters. I am sure there is someone else who can do better than me."

Wong is still undecided about whether to run for the chairman's job.

"It can wait… Maybe after a restructuring, the whole picture will become clearer," she said.

Wong said there were still inequities in the legislative system. Even if the pan-democrats received the biggest share of the public vote they would still be in the minority once they got into the Legco due to the functional constituencies.

She said that meant people were forced to take to the streets to have their voices heard and she expected more protests about dissatisfaction with the government and the injustice of the functional constituency system.

Wong said the only way for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to regain his popularity and gain public trust was to roll out a sincere proposal on political reform as soon as possible.