The leader of the pro-Beijing flagship has decided to stay on for another two years.
Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, yesterday said he had signed up for the party's April 19 central committee election.
Membership in the committee is a requirement for chairmanship candidates.
Tam, 63, had planned to step down as chairman to make way for new-generation leaders, but the party's succession plan had not gone as well as expected.
"Our plan to groom talent has not worked as successfully as we hoped, and many core members have asked me to stay as chairman for another two-year term," he said.
Party vice-chairman Starry Lee Wai-king was among those tipped to succeed Tam, who has been chairman since 2007.
She won a district council functional constituency seat - or "super seat" - in last year's Legislative Council election.
Regarded as a rising star in the pro-establishment party, Lee, 38, became the second-youngest lawmaker after Gary Chan Hak-kan, also from the same party, when they won seats in the Legco election in 2008.
Lee, an accountant by training, was elected one of the four party vice-chairmen in April 2011.
She was also appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to the Executive Council last year, replacing her party's senior lawmaker Lau Kong-wah, who lost the "super seat" constituency in the Legco election last year.
Lee, who worked for KPMG in Hong Kong, is also a member of the Kowloon City district council. She won the seat in 1999, becoming the youngest district councillor at the age of 25.
Asked whether Lee was deemed not mature enough to lead the party, Tam said there were "a number of factors" leading to his decision.
"It takes some time for our new generation to mature," he said.
He admitted that the surprise defeat of former vice-chairman Lau in the Legco election had derailed the party's succession plan.
Lau later resigned from his position and joined the government as undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs.
Tam said the number of vice-chairmen in the party would soon be increased from four to five to groom young blood.