Legislative Council of Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Civic Party pledges to focus on livelihood over political reform

New party chairman Alan Leong says recent world events show political elites ‘must reach out to the masses’

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 November, 2016, 10:55pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 November, 2016, 10:55pm

The reshuffled Civic Party will shift its focus from political reform to livelihood issues and work in the community to win more “loyal electors” for future polls, its leaders have said.

Alan Leong Kah-kit replaced Audrey Eu Yuet-mee as the party’s chair after its annual general meeting on Saturday evening. And he said it was a “pragmatic” decision, rather than a compromise, to change the party’s focus.

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“Until Beijing once again respects the constitutional imperative of ‘two systems’ under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, I do not think it is fruitful for the party to spend too much time and effort in pushing political reforms,” Leong, a former legislator, said. But he added the party would not give up the chance to communicate with Beijing.

He said the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States and the British public’s vote to leave the European Union had made people realise that “the elite can’t live within their own bubbles and must reach out to the masses”.

Through on-the-ground work, the party could rely less on strategic voters and win more “partners” in the fight for universal suffrage when the time was right, he added.

The AGM, which elected legislator Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu party leader, took place five days after legislator Claudia Mo Man-ching quit the party.

It also elected 20 members of the party’s executive committee, with seven new positions responsible for district and party developments, and policy advocacy. Six new members are younger than 20.

Eu remained on the committee in charge of party development and fundraising.

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The party, whose lawmakers have recently voted differently to each other in the legislature, planned to exercise stricter caucus discipline to ensure members vote in line with party positions, with exceptions limited to “conscience”.