MARIA Tam Wai-chu is poised to take over leadership of the pro-China Liberal Democratic Federation (LDF). The current chairman, Hu Fa-kuang, and the executive vice-chairman, Raymond Wu Wai-yung, are to step down in mid-1996. The reshuffle comes after a review by the LDF's executive committee of candidates' performance in the Legislative Council elect-ion. It concluded that, when compared with the 1991 election, support for LDF had climbed but the party image was still not sharp enough. It is understood that the core members believed it was time for the bloc to develop a political party. The executive committee thought Ms Tam, former Executive and Legislative Councillor in the 1980s, had the right experience for the job. She was deeply involved in the September elections, planning strategy and helping candidate David Chu Yu-lin. Ms Tam's appointment is due to be confirmed by the executive committee at the end of the month. Wong Siu-yee, who was beaten by legislator Lau Chin-shek in Kowloon South, will replace Mr Wu as executive vice-chairman.