The Democratic Party's Law Chi-kwong indicated yesterday he would prefer not to seek re-election in the social welfare constituency in 2000. Mr Law, 44, is the first legislator to suggest he will step down since the polls in May. He said he also had no strong desire to remain as the party's secretary-general. 'I want to keep a low profile and concentrate more on my academic work,' said Mr Law, who heads the department of social work and social administration at the University of Hong Kong. 'A final decision has not been made but I hope the message will encourage more people come out to run for election.' Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming said he did not want Mr Law to step down. 'Although he has never mentioned this to me, I would not be surprised as he has been low-profile,' he said. 'He has been making a lot of contributions to the party caucus. He is a prodigy. He can become an expert on a new thing, such as a policy issue, in three days.' Mr Law, who represented the constituency in 1995-1997 and ran uncontested in May, denied he had any plans to emigrate. His wife is a Canadian citizen who has been back in Hong Kong for five years. Mr Law explained his reasons for running previously. 'The chances of the Democratic Party surviving the handover of Hong Kong were unclear and so I ran for election in 1995,' he said. Winning another seat for the party had helped it to maintain its political participation and influence. Also, there had been no other candidate acceptable to the party. But Mr Law said he considered Hong Kong Social Workers' Association president Justina Leung Ngai Mou-yin, and Paul Chan Kam-cheung, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, acceptable candidates. Mr Law said he might drop his plans and run if there were no candidates acceptable to the party or if they did not stand a good chance of winning.