Treat election committee election as warm-up for chief executive poll: DAB Hong Kong should treat this year's Election Committee vote as a preliminary contest for chief executive candidates, and Donald Tsang Yam-kuen should take an active role in canvassing, a pro-government party says. Legislator Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said Mr Tsang should take part in the Election Committee vote as a prelude to next year's chief executive election. 'People should accept the concept that all the Election Committee members are really there to run on a platform to elect a specific chief executive candidate. It is just like a US presidential election,' Mr Chan said. 'Mr Tsang should come out and lobby for the candidates.' The idea that Mr Tsang should lobby on behalf of Election Committee candidates - who will select the next chief executive during their terms - has gained momentum in recent days after he took the unusual step of attending a DAB party meeting this month. He also took part in a DAB street rally last year in support of the government's constitutional reform proposal, later rejected. DAB chairman Ma Lik suggested earlier that the party would run in the Election Committee race and treat it as a direct contest for the chief executive post. He also suggested that Mr Tsang should take part in the lobbying process. '[Mr Tsang] doesn't have to say he is running. All he needs to do is to endorse the Election Committee candidates, who everybody knows will elect him,' the legislator said. Mr Chan said that as his party considered Mr Tsang an ally in politics and extended its support to him accordingly, he expected a return of support 'during his entire term'. This included lobbying on behalf of the party's candidates in next year's district council elections. A spokesman for the Electoral Affairs Commission said that while there were guidelines to restrict the canvassing activities of ministers, the restrictions did not apply to the chief executive. Lee Wing-tat, chairman of the Democratic Party, said he would be happy to see Mr Tsang announce his re-election bid as early as possible. 'He should come out and tell the whole world that he supports whoever the DAB and the Liberal Party fields in the Election Committee election, if he dares. 'It is better than keeping his head down until the last minute,' said Mr Lee. Political analyst Ma Ngok, of the University of Science and Technology, said he saw no problem for Mr Tsang in building a partnership with the DAB. But he said the chief executive should clarify his re-election intentions at the same time.