The Liberal Party will field 24 candidates - including 15 political novices - in the district council elections, with some going up against heavyweights from the pan-democratic camp.
The pro-business party, which currently boasts six district councillors, is confident about sending young members to compete with experienced politicians in the November polls.
First-time candidate Joseph Chan Ho-lim, a 34-year-old banker, will compete in The Peak constituency of the Central and Western district, taking on incumbent councillor and Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan.
Another new face, Vincent Lau Kai-kit, will go up against Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun, also running for a district seat for the first time in the new Olympic constituency of Yau Tsim Mong district. The 40-year-old doctor doubted whether To had the sincerity to serve Olympic.
'When a heavyweight like him stands for such a seat, it is obvious he is eyeing a super seat,' Lau said after the Liberals' swearing-in ceremony.
He was referring to the five seats in the Legislative Council's functional constituency representing district councils. These will be decided by a vote among elected district councillors next year.
A third novice, Terry Tsui Yun-yung, a 26-year-old former athlete, is expected to face Christine Fong Kwok-shan, who quit the Liberals last year citing a 'difference in principle'.
Liberal Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee said relief measures for the middle class and anti-inflation were going to be the major items in the manifesto.
The Neo Democrats - formed by a former Democrat member who quit after the electoral reforms last year - will field 10 candidates, including seven seeking re-election.