DAB chairman Tsang Yok-sing yesterday dismissed suggestions the party was placing the interests of embattled ex-legislator Gary Cheng Kai-nam before those of the party by not demanding he give up his Legco seat if elected. Mr Tsang, a long-time friend of Mr Cheng, said: 'I believe Cheng Kai-nam will face immense pressure if he were to be [elected] a legislator . . . My understanding is that it may not necessarily be the most beneficial choice if Cheng Kai-nam were to continue to be a legislator. 'That's why we are not considering the question of Mr Cheng's interest but the question of accountability to the voters and the public at large.' Justifying the decision by the party's central committee, he added: 'The verdict should be returned by voters. If voters find that a DAB candidate is not suitable to be a legislator, voters will naturally give their verdict.' However, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong's highest decision-making body decided to accept, with immediate effect, Mr Cheng's offer to resign as party vice-chairman. Appearing at a press conference alongside Mr Tsang yesterday, Mr Cheng said he would 'regret for the rest of my life' if his blunders were to cost his election partner Choy So-yuk her seat. It was reported last week that Mr Cheng had not disclosed to the Legislative Council one of his consultancy firms and had leaked a confidential government document to a business contact. Although Mr Tsang said on Monday the party would consider whether asking Mr Cheng to stand down would be beneficial to its election campaign, he emphasised yesterday that election tactics were of only secondary importance in the party's consideration. 'We believe we are doing the right thing. Whether this decision is going to benefit or further damage our chances in the election is of secondary importance. I think our assessment is it will not make very much difference,' he said. 'I don't think there is much we can do other than getting to our constituents and telling them honestly and frankly the truth and our decision.' Pledging to make public the results of the investigation by the party's disciplinary committee, he said the party would enlist the help of those involved in the scandal, including staff of Mr Cheng's two public relations firms. Ma Lik, chairman of the committee, said it would also ask Apple Daily, which revealed the scandal, to provide more information. Mr Cheng said: 'I am willing to fully co-operate with investigations, in any form, by the legislature or any other bodies, and to face all consequences.' As to how he would solve the problem of voters liking the DAB but being alienated by his actions, he said: 'If the investigation finds that there are no problems on my part and that I am still qualified as a legislator, there shouldn't be any conflict between support in the DAB and me.' Professor Lau Siu-kai, of the Chinese University, said the Cheng scandal was a clear-cut moral problem. 'The DAB will lose public respect for being indecisive in making a moral judgment on such an important issue,' he said. 'If Mr Cheng is elected to the legislature, does it mean that voters vindicated Mr Cheng and that he had no integrity problems? Of course not.' Investigations by the disciplinary committee are continuing and will determine how the party will deal with the matter.