Democratic Party ignores call to boycott reception
Lawmaker baulks at invitation to liaison office's spring event and asks pan-democrats to skip it
Tanna Chong and Jeffie Lam
The Democratic Party will send representatives to the central government liaison office's spring reception, despite a call by some pan-democrats for a mass boycott by the camp.
Lawmakers Albert Ho Chun-yan and Sin Chung-kai said party representatives would be at the annual reception on February 13. The length of the invitation list is unprecedented, and includes radical pan-democrats.
Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan was unimpressed by his invitation - the first he has received - and called on fellow pan-democrats to boycott the event.
"We don't want superficial goodwill gestures, but genuine goodwill on electoral reform," Lee said. "I suggest all pan-democrats boycott the reception."
Lee's invitation is seen as unusual as he is also chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, branded as subversive on the mainland. Radicals Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, and two People's Power lawmakers, were also invited.
Ho said the Democrats would send representatives as usual.
"Some of us are invited every year … some of us will attend as the party's representatives but the names are unconfirmed," the former Democratic Party chairman said.
Responding to Lee's boycott call, Sin said the suggestion had not been raised in the pan-democrats' weekly communication and co-operation gatherings.
The radicals have also said they will not attend, but the Civic Party is likely to have members attending.
Ho said that although his party was open to encounters with the liaison office it would continue to prepare for Occupy Central, with about 30 party veterans signing a vow of determination tomorrow for the civil disobedience movement.
"The batch, which will include Martin Lee Chu-ming and Yeung Sum, will sign a vow of determination to show formal support to Occupy Central," said Ho, who will also sign the campaign vow pressing for "genuine" universal suffrage.
Lee is the party's founding chairman and Dr Yeung a former chairman.