The party is at a political crossroads following its poor showing in the district council elections. With a new leader, Ma Lik, in place, it is trying to plot its future course The Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong will today hold its first major brainstorming session to map out the party's way forward after its disastrous defeat in last month's district council elections. New party chairman Ma Lik yesterday said he hoped members could reach a 'certain level' of consensus during the central committee meeting, which is to be followed by a formal announcement at its general meeting on Tuesday. Mr Ma insisted that the party would be selective in which government policies it would support. 'We will only support government policies if it can persuade us and the public that those policies match people's interests [but] we hope the government will not close the door on asking us for support.' Mr Ma said former chairman Tsang Yok-sing's post in the Executive Council was one aspect that they had to look into. Despite there being some voices within the party that the DAB should distance itself from the government after the July 1 protest march, Mr Ma maintained it would not become an opposition party. Speculation has been rife on the largest pro-government party's future relationship with the government after its huge setback in last month's district council elections. The new chairman reiterated the party's support for the election of the chief executive by universal suffrage in 2007 and for the legislature in 2008 and there were no plans to change this party platform. But he added: 'Recently, there have been some opposition voices [against universal suffrage] emerging. We have to see whether their opinions are reasonable or not.' Some leading pro-Beijing figures have voiced reservations over the city's pace of democracy since four mainland legal experts were quoted in a Xinhua news report on December 4 as saying it was 'a misunderstanding' that some in Hong Kong had regarded the constitutional changes as 'entirely the special administrative region's internal affairs'. The experts stressed any change to the method of electing the chief executive after 2007 must first be agreed by two-thirds of Legco members and the chief executive, and then be approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. Mr Ma also clarified his earlier remarks that the central government might adopt a more conservative stance on the development of Hong Kong's political system if the DAB suffers a setback in the coming Legislative Council elections, or if another protest march planned for January 1 next year attracts a big turnout. He said he had not been speaking on behalf of the central government, but had simply been making an analysis of the situation. 'How the central government views it is the problem of the central government. 'We don't have any role to reflect their views,' the party's new leader said. Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, head of the Power for Democracy group, said he believed the opposition voices referred to by Mr Ma were those of a few pro-Beijing figures as various studies had showed that the majority of Hong Kong people supported universal suffrage. Professor Cheng also noted the DAB often contradicted itself when talking about the introduction of universal suffrage.