The Young Turks should have the courage to form their own labour party instead of staying on as a nuisance to the Democratic Party, according to party legislator Michael Ho Mun-ka. Mr Ho, who represents the health services in the legislature, announced last Wednesday he would not run in September's election. The move was seen as a blow to the Democrats, who have been losing popular support. Mr Ho said the party faced a serious ideological divide, between mainstream Democrats who advocate a middle-class road and Young Turks who favour a grassroots approach. 'Everyone who loves the party feels heartache,' he said, adding that if the Young Turks felt so strongly, they should form a Democratic Labour Party. 'We can still co-operate on the road to democracy. On socio-economic matters, we can be different.' He admitted that without strong union support and without a clear platform, the Young Turks would have little hope of survival. 'Problems take time to solve,' he said. Mr Ho said his resignation was for family reasons. 'Family is my major concern. My father is 85, my mother is 79. I also want to spare more time for my wife and daughter.' Complaints from within his constituency that he was not working hard enough to further the interests of nurses and therapists were unfair, he said. He said his detractors should ask themselves how much support they had given to the work of unions. He compared the fight for the interests of health service workers to the campaign for the liberation of women. 'The medical field is dominated by doctors who have drained a majority of the Hospital Authority's resources. They occupy all the key positions,' he said. More than 90 per cent of nurses and therapists were women, whom he thought were not outspoken enough in demanding their rights. 'Our education level is also comparatively low . . . There will be a change for the better when the educated younger generation start to fill up key posts.' The fight for equal status with doctors would therefore be a silent revolution that would take decades, and was not for him to accomplish. 'I have never thought of finding a successor.' He said people interested in their work were usually hesitant to devote time to becoming a politician. 'The Hospital Authority permits only one day each month on public service, which is far from adequate to satisfy the legislature's heavy workload.' Mr Ho is on unpaid leave from his Castle Peak Hospital post. After retiring from the legislature, he will resume work at the basic rank of registered mental nurse. He said many of his colleagues had been promoted to senior grades.