Reactions to the chief executive's speech ranged from regret to scepticism across the political spectrum yesterday. The Democratic Party said the reason Tung Chee-hwa gave for his resignation was unconvincing and left the public wondering if he had been sacked. The Liberal Party said it respected the chief executive's decision while the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong expressed regret. Both hoped Mr Tung would continue to play a role as a national leader to help Hong Kong develop its economy. The Civil Human Rights Front, which organised mass rallies in 2003 and last year, said the resignation reflected the power of the people. The group will organise a gathering tonight to call for universal suffrage for the top post. Welcoming Mr Tung's move, the Democratic Party yesterday said it should have come immediately after the mass rallies. 'It remains a mystery whether he was forced to leave by Beijing or chose to leave of his own will,' said Yeung Sum, the party's spokesman on constitutional affairs. The DAB praised him for diligent efforts to revive the economy and fostering a closer relationship with the mainland. 'We will remember Mr Tung, his achievements, his legacy of a vibrant and prosperous Hong Kong and we are confident that it will continue,' said party vice-chairman Tam Yiu-chung. The Liberals said he had succeeded in winning Beijing's trust and ensured the smooth transition of Hong Kong to Chinese rule. Party chief James Tien Pei-chun hoped the new chief executive could make up for Mr Tung's deficiencies.