New fraternity association of deputies to CPPCC to speak out on local affairs Nearly 1,200 Hong Kong delegates to various provincial chapters of the nation's top advisory body have set up a group aimed at playing a wider role in the city's political affairs. A delegate said one of the aims of the new fraternity association would be to co-ordinate the campaign among Hong Kong deputies to various levels of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference for the Election Committee polls in December. An application by the Hong Kong CPPCC (Provincial) Members Association for registration under the Companies Ordinance was approved on July 28. The launch ceremony was held last night. Gao Siren , director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, and Foreign Ministry Commissioner Lu Xinhua officiated at the ceremony. The high-profile presence of the mainland officials was seen as a sign of approval by the central government for local delegates to play a bigger role in Hong Kong. It is the third fraternity association established by the city's delegates to various levels of the nation's advisory body, following the formation of an association by local deputies to the Guangdong chapter in early June. Another was established that month for Hong Kong delegates of the Hainan chapter. Jia Qinglin, the national CPPCC chairman, told its Hong Kong delegates in March to take a more active role in the city's political life, including speaking out on issues affecting stability and prosperity. Wong See-sum, a Hong Kong delegate to the Guangdong chapter of the CPPCC and a member of the new association, believed it would play a role in the co-ordination of December's polls for the Election Committee, which will select the new chief executive in March. 'As we are leaders in different sectors of the community, the association can co-ordinate the election campaign with the delegates to various levels of the CPPCC,' he said, adding that it could form an influential group through the election. Mr Wong said he would run in the Election Committee polls. At last night's ceremony, central government liaison office deputy director Li Guikang said the delegates had formed the association in their personal capacity. They had the right to express their views on major issues in their personal capacity, he said. 'The delegates have the responsibility to express their positions on major issues that have an impact on Hong Kong's stability and prosperity.' He said more people had recognised that CPPCC delegates played an active role in Hong Kong and national affairs. The delegates deserved respect from the community, he said, adding that the association would provide a platform for members to play their role. Home Affairs Secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping urged delegates to take part in forthcoming elections and major events over the next few years, including the tenth anniversary of the handover and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Ivan Choy Chi-keung, a political scientist from Chinese University, said he expected similar fraternity associations to be set up soon, following the call in March by Mr Jia.