A person describing himself as a long-time supporter of the Civic Party criticised it in an open letter in newspapers yesterday for resorting to a conspiracy theory in response to earlier criticism from him.
In an open letter to the party published in several Chinese-language newspapers last Thursday, the person had said he was dissatisfied with the party's reluctance to admit failure in last month's 'de facto referendum', triggered by resignations of five lawmakers from the Civic Party and the League of Social Democrats.
The person, who claimed to 'have gone through the highs and lows alongside the Civic Party in recent years', had said it was time to part company with the party.
In an advertisement published in two Chinese-language newspapers yesterday, the person said he noted that Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a member of the party's executive committee, told the media last Thursday he suspected there was an attempt to split the party by placing advertisements in newspapers in the name of a party member.
The person wrote: 'A party that positions itself as moderate and rational only knows how to twist a supporter's opinions into views with an ulterior motive. What is the difference between this kind of approach and that of an authoritarian party?'
Kuan Hsin-chi, the party's chairman, said it treasured its moderate and rational style. He invited the person who took out the advertisements for a face-to-face talk.
Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee said after last month's Legislative Council by-elections, which had a record low turnout of 17.1 per cent, that it was 'the biggest mobilisation' since the July 1, 2003, march when 500,000 people took to the streets.
Meanwhile, a former core member of the party who has become inactive in recent years said it could have engaged professionals to put forward proposals to improve other aspects of Hong Kong, like environmental protection and city planning.
The member said the party would lose support from some professionals after the 'de facto referendum'.