Tycoon James Tien Pei-chun and his trusted lieutenant Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee have officially returned to the helm of the Liberal Party.
Yesterday's move came after his brother, Michael Tien Puk-sun, abandoned the party to join lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee in forming the New People's Party.
In a leadership meeting yesterday, James Tien was appointed honorary chairman of the Liberal Party - a new post he previously declined after his defeat in the 2008 Legco election. 'It may sound too sweet to call me a spiritual leader,' Tien said. 'In fact my function will mostly be liaising with the business sector, big corporations and small-and-medium enterprises.'
Chow will take over the tasks of co-ordinating the party's district work and will be responsible for engaging the community when formulating the party's policy positions. Chow and James Tien lost their Legco seats in 2008 after Beijing loyalists pulled their support in the election.
Chow will run for the party's vice-chairmanship, left vacant by Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, who resigned from the post yesterday.
James Tien said he and Chow would not rule out seeking a return to the legislature in 2012.
Meanwhile Michael Tien, who on Wednesday became a vice-chairman of the new party, said he and his party colleagues would seek support from people who did not find any existing party represented them.
'Why do only half of Hong Kong's registered voters vote in each election? We would like to appeal to those who would originally not vote,' he said.
The party has about 70 founding members and will be formally inaugurated early next month. Ip will preside over the party as chairwoman.