Pan-democrats may run under a single team in their bid to win three 'super seats' in September's Legislative Council election.
But they failed to agree on their strategy yesterday. The Democratic Party has 'strong reservations' about the proposal. The party wants two teams to contest the five newly created seats in Legco's functional constituency for district councils.
They have been dubbed 'super seats' because some three million electors will be eligible to vote in the election to fill them, giving the winners a bigger mandate than other lawmakers.
Four pan-democratic parties have signalled interest in contesting the seats. The pan-democrats are expected to win two or three of them. They usually win 60 per cent of the vote in Legco elections when facing the pro-establishment camp, which plans to field three teams.
Leung Yiu-chung, a lawmaker for the Neighbourhood and Workers Service Centre, said the single-ticket proposal would be less risky and could maximise co-operation within the pan-democratic camp.
But Sin Chung-kai, vice-chairman of the Democratic Party, said the proposal would probably fail, going on past experience, though the party was willing to continue talks.
Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, convenor of Power for Democracy, said he believed the pan-democrats could end up with a strategy in which they field a maximum of three teams.
Meanwhile, Paul Zimmerman, a Southern District councillor for the Civic Party, appealed for his application for Chinese citizenship to be expedited. Citizenship would allow him to run for a super seat.
A Dutch passport holder, Zimmerman is not eligible to run for the seat because it requires a candidate to be a Chinese citizen who is a permanent resident of Hong Kong with no right of abode in another country.
Zimmerman applied to the Immigration Department in November but was told last Friday it might take until October to process his application 'because of the long queue'.
Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said Sumly Chan Yuen-sum, a Tsuen Wan district councillor, would replace Zimmerman if he failed to receive Chinese citizenship in time.
Separately, Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, lawmaker for the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector, said he would decide whether to run and attempt to extend his 14-year term, 'at an appropriate time'.
Ex-Arts Development Council chief Ma Fung-kwok has expressed an interest in challenging Fok.
The number of people likely to vote on the five 'super seats'•They are part of 2010 reforms that added 10 seats to Legco